Irish Penal Reform Trust

Restorative Justice

IPRT advocates for consistency in national availability, use and operation of restorative justice options nationwide.

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.

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.

Restorative justice for children is provided for by statute for children by way of the Children Act 2001

Restorative justice practices for adults in Ireland are provided by organisations such as Restorative Justice in the Community and Restorative Justice Services. For more about the practice and services, please visit their websites. 

NI: 'Evaluation of the Northern Ireland Youth Conference Service'

31st October 2005

Northern Ireland operates restorative justice practices in youth justice.

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.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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