Executive extends Restorative Justice provision throughout Scotland
Provisions to extend restorative justice procedures throughout Scotland have been made by the Scottish Executive.
On Friday the Scottish Restorative Justice Consultancy and Training Service (managed by SACRO) launched a web site to provide information about the use of restorative justice and practices in Scotland. It contains comprehensive links to research, publications and services.
Social entrepreneur Keith Simpson of SACRO – who pioneered this approach in Scotland, said “SACRO has been advocating the use of restorative justice in dealing with young people for some time and we welcome today’s announcement.” Mr Simpson is chair of Scotland UnLtd.
Restorative Justice’ seeks to confront offenders with the impact of their behaviour – on the victim, the community and on their family. They could be required to apologise to the victim – or to make some form of reparation. This process has proven to be particularly effective with minor offending by young people.
Restorative Practices in Scotland –
The following are practices involving some form of communication between the person responsible for the offence and the person harmed. To ensure the safety and effectiveness of the process, the facilitator prepares all parties prior to any communication:
Restorative Justice Conferences – normally led by two facilitators and attended by the person(s) harmed, the person(s) responsible, their respective support persons and other affected persons.
Face-to Face Meetings – can be led by either one or two facilitators and are attended by only the person(s) harmed and the person(s) responsible.
Shuttle Mediation – involves a facilitator acting as a go-between for the person(s) harmed and the person(s) responsible.
Police Restorative Warnings – involve the person responsible and their support persons meeting with a trained police officer for a 20-30 minute meeting. The person harmed can be informed of the outcome, receive a letter of apology and reparation.
Restorative Justice and Mediation
Over the past few years, there has been a growing recognition of important differences between ‘mediation’ and ‘restorative justice’ – and, therefore, of the need to be more careful about how these terms are used or applied. Put simply, mediation is designed to address a conflict or dispute; whereas restorative justice is designed to address an offence or a crime.