IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice focuses on the harm when a crime has been committed, rather than looking at what laws or rules have been broken. Participation is on a voluntary basis.

The crime is discussed between the parties in a much less formal setting than would happen in a court. Issues are arbitrated between the offender and the victim, and means of making amends are agreed on.

In Restorative Justice, victims are given a chance to ask questions and to make the offender aware of the effect of their actions. The chance to receive an apology for the victim and gain forgiveness for the offender can have beneficial effects on both parties.

Restorative Justice practices offer a more re-integrative approach to how we treat offenders, and community involvement can help to deal with the root causes of the criminal behaviour and reduce recidivism.

2015 Report on the Garda Diversion Programme 25th January 2017

The Department of Justice and Equality has published the 'The Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme 2015'. Read more

Facing Forward 14th December 2016

Established in 2005, Facing Forward supports the introduction of restorative approaches to Ireland based on best practice that has emerged in other countries. Read more

England & Wales: Action Plan for Criminal Justice System, 2014 to 2018 12th December 2016

The UK Ministry of Justice released an action plan in 2014 with the aim of making restorative justice practices available at all stages of the criminal justice system. Read more

2014 Report on the Garda Diversion Programme 22nd March 2016

The Department of Justice and Equality has published the 'Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme 2014’. Read more

Australia: Restorative Justice in the Australian Criminal Justice System 31st December 2014

This Australian Institute of Criminology report describes the Australian approach to restorative justice. Read more

2013 Report on the Garda Diversion Programme 22nd March 2014

The Department of Justice and Equality has published the 'Annual Report of the Committee Appointed to Monitor the Effectiveness of the Diversion Programme 2013’. Read more

European Commission: Restorative Justice and Crime Prevention 30th April 2010

This report from the European Forum for Restorative Justice sets out best practices and approaches to restorative justice in Europe. Read more

Ireland: National Commission on Restorative Justice in Ireland 30th June 2009

This report from June 2009 sets out the status of restorative justice in Ireland. Read more

NI: 'Evaluation of the Northern Ireland Youth Conference Service' 31st October 2005

Northern Ireland operates restorative justice practices in youth justice. Read more

New Zealand: Restorative Justice Best Practices 31st December 2004

New Zealand pioneered the use of restorative justice. The Families Act, 1989 introduced its use in Youth Justice. This Act made restorative justice practices mandatory, for all but the most serious offences such as murder and manslaughter, for juvenile offenders. Read more