Criminal Justice 2008

What is restorative justice?

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          With financial support from the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Commission, Directorate General Justice, Freedom and Security

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„An introduction to the theory and practice of restorative justice” – MEREPS’s professional workshop in the Balassagyarmat Prison

Uploaded at: 2010. 10. 07.


On September 27th 2010, an expert workshop was organized at the Balassagyarmat Prison as part of the MEREPS Project. The aim of the course was to prepare and raise awareness of the participants, so when the MEREPS pilot project on in-prison mediation starts up in October they support it and are willing to take a part in the project and support the prison staff and inmates in taking an active role in the pilot.

The workshop was opened by Dr. Budai István, the warden of the prison, and after the introduction of the participants the MEREPS Project and the related research was introduced by Dr. Borbala Fellegi, Dr. Tünde Barabás and Dr. SzandraWindt (all three experts are taking part in the MEREPS Project). After a short break, Dr. Borbala Fellegi held a presentation about the restorative approach and the applicable methods.
During the afternoon the participants were introduced to the practice of restorative justice. The documentary „Burning Bridges” was screened and discussed (Moderator: Vidia Negrea, facilitator, Community Service Foundation Hungary), and a former inmate spoke about after-prison experiences and observations.

The composition of the more than 50 participants of the expert workshop was highly varied thus enabling the workshop (as it was originally intended) to be a course of real interdisciplinary work.

During the expert workshop both the MEREPS Project and the Prison, as well as the prison staff got highly positive feedbacks and support concerning the importance of the work. These feedbacks are very important in order to ensure the success of the upcoming pilot project.

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