This debate was complemented with the publication of a new report "Time for A Fresh Start" encouraging the use of restorative justice with juveniles. The Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour reports that restorative justice in Northern Ireland should provide the model for major changes to the youth justice system. The commission, which carried out an 18-month study into alternative responses to youth crime, concludes that restorative meetings known as "youth conferencing" are the way to deliver better justice for the victims of crime, while cutting re-offending rates and custody numbers. Gavrielides, IARS Director said "I am very pleased with the news. Another evidence based report documenting the potential and effectiveness of restorative justice. I hope that the current political, policy and economic climate works in favour of restorative justice this time". To read Gavrielides statement in full click here.
On 2nd July, Dr. Gavrielides, project leader for the UK side of the EU funded MEREPS project spoke at the UK College of Mediators conference at South Bank University. The conference titled "Tales from the Edge" was attended by leading mediators and researchers and focused on the issues of accreditation, standards and innovative practice.
Dr. Gavrielides gave a presentation on restorative justice covering issues such as definitions, cost-benefit analysis of restorative justice as well as the need to push the barriers for mediation and other restorative justice practices. Dr Gavrielides spoke about MEREPS and other innovative restorative justice programmes to argue that innovation and accreditation/ standards are complementary and not at odds. To read the presentation click here. For the programme click here. MEREPS is funded by the EU.
On 27 July, Dr. Gavrielides also attended the Restorative Justice Consortium annual conference "Creative a Restorative Capital". There he gave an update of IARS and MEREPS activities on restorative justice.
Meanwhile, the MEREPS research on the use of mediation and other restorative justice programmes in juvenile institutions continues successfully. The research project plan which will be published next month includes in-depth case studies with juveniles who have received mediation as part of their sentence for committing a serious crime such as hate offences.