An evaluation of the Le Chéile Restorative Justice Project (conducted by Quality Matters) was launched at a seminar in Limerick City Hall today. Le Chéile is Ireland's only non-statutory youth restorative justice service which provides a range of restorative justice services to young people who have been involved in crime and/or are engaged with the Young Persons Probation Service.
The Le Chéile Restorative Justice Pilot Project was established in Limerick city in 2010 and funded by the Probation Service and Limerick City & County Council. The project works with young people by using a variety of restorative justice models including: face-to-face meetings, proxy victims, victim empathy programmes, and reparation.
The evaluation of the services revealed that the project displayed value for money, as well as many other benefits to the community.
Main findings of the evaluation:
- The evaluation reveals returns of nearly €3 for every €1 invested.
- Significant benefits for the young people, their families and victims of crime.
- A significant increase in young people’s levels of empathy towards victims following their participation in the project.
- Improved family relationships in particular parental relationships.
- Less contact with the Gardaí and court system for the young people taking part in the RJ project.
- Victims found the restorative justice system preferable to that of the traditional criminal justice system.
“The study shows that Restorative Justice should be a preferred option for young people who offend. We now have the evidence that it repairs the harm done to the victim, the community and the family. The future is bright for Restorative Justice in Ireland and Le Chéile is proud to be a lead agency in demonstrating and practicing Restorative Justice in the Youth Sector.” - CEO of Le Chéile, Anne Conroy.
This restorative Justice project is part of the Le Chéile Mentoring and Youth Justice Support Services, which provide volunteer mentoring as well as restorative justice and family support services to young people who offend.
Click here to download the Le Chéile Executive summary.
For further information of how to volunteer with Le Chéile click here.