Restora­tive jus­tice is the way for­ward

The Guardian - - JOURNAL -

Jeremy Cush­ing’s ex­cel­lent ex­pla­na­tion of re­fer­ral or­ders and restora­tive jus­tice is timely in­deed (Let­ters, 12 Septem­ber). As he points out, crim­i­nal­is­ing chil­dren is a sure route to ap­pren­tice­ships in crime. I vol­un­teer as a re­fer­rals com­mu­nity panel mem­ber in Sur­rey, where in­no­va­tive and in­spi­ra­tional work by the youth sup­port ser­vice’s restora­tive jus­tice team has led to highly suc­cess­ful re­sults. Restora­tive in­ter­ven­tion in­volves po­lice, vic­tims, par­ents and com­mu­nity as soon as the young per­son has been ap­pre­hended, the aim be­ing to avoid the young per­son hav­ing to go to court. Restora­tive jus­tice has saved chil­dren from be­ing crim­i­nalised and re­duced public costs. The Restora­tive Jus­tice Coun­cil has re­searched the ex­pe­ri­ences of BAME chil­dren through re­fer­ral or­ders and restora­tive jus­tice in­ter­ven­tions. This is a fas­ci­nat­ing, af­fect­ing read. Jeremy Cush­ing is spot on when he says that restora­tive jus­tice works, and not only for young peo­ple. It is the way for­ward to guide many of­fend­ers into re­gain­ing their place in so­ci­ety and pre­vent­ing re­of­fend­ing. Janet Fearn­ley Farn­ham, Sur­rey

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