Join in on Restorative Justice Week!

Thanks to Libby (student) who writes;
'According to Strang and Braithwaite evidence is clear that the more countries that experience RJ process, the more people support RJ and their outcomes. They also point to evidence that RJ works in actually reducing crime.[1] Over the last three decades there has been a significant shift in the approach to criminal justice where it is estimated that somewhere between 80 and 100 countries have adopted some form of RJ practice.[2] RJ processes were initially used as part of the justice system during the pre-sentence process following an admission of guilt by the offender and it has now expanded to nearly every other section of the justice process. In fact many liken RJ to becoming a movement; Restorative Justice Week is celebrated in the third week of November since 1996 in Canada and now in 19 other countries, including Australia and New Zealand.[3]
So please join us at one of the events during November or let us know how to join in with you all. We hope to collect photos from around the world this year, just to show the extent of RJ Week, even if its only a few people sharing together between November 13th and 20th. 
RJ provides an opportunity for the people who have been impacted upon by the crime to engage in a facilitated encounter that provides a fair and safe process that can work towards just outcomes that benefits all. It offers to Victims the chance to ask questions regarding future safety, why it happened, and to say what it felt like and how it is left them. For the perpetrator it can provide the chance to take full responsibility, to explain what led to it happening, what help they need, what they would like to do and what they would not like to happen to put things right. For their families its a chance to hear from both parties, to engage in the conversations and build up a plan for the future that can, if required, be given to the court.

[1] Strang., H. and Braithwaite., J (eds/author). 2001. “Introduction” (pages 1-11) In Restorative Justice and Civil Society. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge, United Kingdom.
[2] Ness., D. 2005. “An Overview of Restorative Justice around the world.” At Eleventh Annual United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Bangkok, Thailand, 18-25 April 2005. http://www.icclr.law.ubc.ca/Publications/Reports/11_un/Dan%20van%20Ness%20final%20paper.pdf (Accessed 4th August 2011)
[3] Correctional Service Canada. “Reflexions, past, present and future. Restorative Justice Annual Report.” http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/rj/rj2010/docs/rep10-eng.pdf (Accessed 4th August 2011)

Dr Brian Steels

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