On 22nd November, IARS and the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) at Open University held an expert seminar titled “Drawing together research, policy and practice for restorative justice”. Some of the country's leading experts in restorative justice, officials, Youth Justice Board and NGOs came together to discuss current trends, gaps and strategic steps for implementation, policy and research.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides, IARS Director and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at ICCCR said: "It is not often that restorative justice practitioners are given the space to join academics and policy makers and on an equal and independent footing set the agenda and agree a way forward. I am pleased that IARS and ICCCR provided a platform for a much needed discussion on the gap that needs to be bridged between the restorative justice theory, practice and policy".
Home Office, Youth Justice Board, Victim Support, Ministry of Justice, Prison Reform Trust, Probation and several universities were among the organisations represented at the seminar. Keynote speakers, Prof. Gerry Johnstone (Hull University), Ben Lyon (Register of RJ Practitioners) and Graham Robb (Youth Justice Board) spoke about gaps in restorative justice research, practice and policy and identified ways forward.
The consensus was that restorative justice is ready to be put to far broader use, and yet more resources are dedicated to theorising rather than actual implementation. Despite encouraging evidence and millions of pounds spent on government pilots and research projects, restorative justice remains in the shadow of the law and dependent on the good will of community mediators and the voluntary sector. Police officers, prison staff and other public sector providers who believe in the value of restorative justice often implement it with no support from the top or a long term strategy.
Future seminars are to be held by IARS and ICCCR while a full report is expected to be published soon. For more information contact Dr. Theo Gavrielides (T.Gavrielides@iars.org.uk), Tel 020 8133 8317, Office Mob: 07970924535
IARS is a youth-led social policy think-tank with expertise in restorative justice, equality, human rights, crime and public legal education
ICCCR is a research centre at Open University. It is a multi disciplinary and cross faculty initiative drawing on expertise from Social Sciences Health and Social Care.
- To download the seminar brief click here
- To download Dr. Gavrielides' presentation click here
- To download Prof. Johnstone's presentation click here
- To download Ben Lyon's presentation click here
- To download Graham Robb's presentation click here
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