A plenary speech on day one of the conference, photography by Dávid VadóczBorbála Fellegi is a Ph.D. researcher at Eötvös Loránd (ELTE) University, Budapest, Hungary, in the field of social policy and criminology, with a special focus on the potential of restorative justice in criminal matters. She authored this report after attending the 10th IIRP International Conference.

“Participation, responsibility-taking, communication, community, caring, restoration, understanding, acceptance” –these concepts were the focus of the three-day long conference organized by the International Institute for Restorative Practices in cooperation with the Community Service Foundation of Hungary.

Several models–such as conferencing, circles, mediation and family group decision making–are being applied all over the world: in many countries of Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa.

View papers from the 10th IIRP World Conference, held November 7-9, 2007, in Budapest, Hungary.

A family and community group conference (FCGC) in Thailand.For Thailand, restorative practices have provided a culturally relevant means of dealing with criminal offenders, especially juveniles. Over the past several years, the Thais have developed a restorative conferencing model that they have used in thousands of cases, with highly encouraging results.

Spearheading the restorative justice initiative is Wanchai Roujanavong, director general of Thailand’s Department of Corrections. He attributes the success of Thailand’s restorative venture in part to its cultural fit. “Thais are a very compromising people,” he said. “They want to live in harmony.”

Roujanavong and his colleagues developed a system called family and community group conferencing (FCGC). Based partly on the IIRP’s restorative conferencing model, it involves the victim, the offender and his or her family and members of the community in a conference in which participants discuss how they were affected by the incident in question and make an agreement to repair the harm. In most cases, conferences are used in place of court prosecution.

 
 

Members of the community near the CSF Buxmont Trevose school have a circle meeting to share their feelings about neighborhood vandalism and brainstorm ideas to remedy the problem.When ongoing vandalism by local youth — graffiti, broken windows, littering — affected Buxmont Academy Trevose and the surrounding neighborhood of families and shop owners, school coordinator Ed Krajewski decided to apply a restorative approach used at the school, one of eight alternative schools operated by the Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy (CSF Buxmont) in Pennsylvania, USA (demonstration programs of the IIRP).

“I had been spending more and more time dealing with this issue,” said Krajewski. Added Pam Thompson, Krajewski’s colleague and assistant director of CSF Buxmont’s Day Treatment Program, “Neighbors and businesses were being harassed, but they weren’t communicating with each other. People were living in fear, not calling the police. Something had to be done.”

Paper by Ted Wachtel, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

Paper by Vidia Negrea, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

Paper by Paul McCold, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

Paper by Mária Herczog, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

Paper by Erzsébet Hatvani, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

Paper by Les Davey, presented in a plenary session at "Improving Citizenship & Restoring Community," the IIRP''s 10th International Institute for Restorative Practices World Conference, November 7-9, 2007, Budapest, Hungary.

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