Restoring Community

"Supporting Pupils, Schools and Families: An Evaluation of the Hampshire Family Group Conferences in Education Project,"a report by the University of Sheffield, England, UK, evaluates 50family group conferences (FGCs) carried out in schools in HampshireCounty, from implementation through many months after each conference.The FGCs were meant to help young people aged 5-15 with behavior andattendance problems, but often addressed family and welfare issues aswell. FGCs were seen as having a significantly positive effect:Presenting problems improved in over half of the young people studied;90 percent of family members said they would recommend FGCs to others;and young people said they found the FGCs to be helpful.

Information on the IIRP''s conference in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, March 3-5, 2005, including plenary sessions.

In this paper, Shannon Pakura, chief social worker, New Zealand Department of Child, Youth and Family Services, Wellington, New Zealand, discusses the challenges that family group conferencing (FGC) has encountered and acknowledges successes achieved since FGC has been integrated into New Zealand''s youth justice and child welfare systems. The paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

This paper by Jenny Bargen, director, Youth Justice Conferencing, New South Wales Department of Juvenile Justice, Australia, focuses on New South Wales''Young Offenders Act 1997 (YOA) as a case study in the success of restorative conferencing. The paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

This paper is an overview of important developments in restorative justice in the UK, by Les Davey, director of Real Justice United Kingdom and Ireland and a founding member of the Thames Valley Police Restorative Justice Consultancy. Davey discusses initiatives by police and county councils; and pilots, research, best practice guidelines and legislation supported by the Home Office. The paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

This paper by Brenda Morrison, research fellow, Centre for Restorative Justice, Australian National University, endorses the use of restorative justice in schools, particularly as a response to bullying. Bullying, she says, is about the abuse of power, while restorative justice is about empowerment through building relationships. The paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

Elizabeth O''Callaghan, principal of Mary MacKillop Primary School, in South Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, discusses how restorative practices have been successfully implemented at her Catholic primary school. This paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

In this paper Dennis Sing-Wing Wong, Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong and Chairman, Centre for Restoration of Human Relationships, Hong Kong, China, discusses his experiences implementing restorative justice with Hong Kong youth in social work, education and the legal system. This paper was presented at the third in a series of three IIRP conferences with the theme, "Building a Global Alliance for Restorative Practices and Family Empowerment," in Penrith, Australia, March 3-5, 2005.

By Laura Mirsky
The community justice forum model is used across Canada, part of a wider national restorative justice initiative. Restorative justice processes were influenced by North American Aboriginal and other traditional justice practices, in which everyone sits in a circle and speaks in turn, to resolve an issue affecting the community. The RCMP community justice forum resource guide can be viewed here.

The Nanaimo Community Justice Forum (CJF), in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, is a fine example of how restorative justice can take root and grow in a community. The program is a partnership between the Nanaimo detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society (NRJHS), a nongovernmental organization that has traditionally worked with offenders and ex-offenders.

By Paul McCold

Click here to view the original findings for 1999-2001.

 

Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society
of Criminology, Nashville, Tennessee, November 16-19, 2004.

The IIRP gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the juvenile probation departments of Northampton, Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties, Pennsylvania, for providing access to court data used in this analysis.

The Community Service Foundation and Buxmont Academy operate eight school-day treatment programs, 16 residential group homes, a home and community supervision program and an intensive drug-and-alcohol treatment supervision program in southeastern Pennsylvania for adjudicated delinquent and at-risk youths. All of these programs utilize what are broadly termed “restorative practices.” This researcher has coined the term “restorative milieu” because the culture is comprised of many formal and informal restorative techniques and processes, not just isolated formal restorative justice interventions. This paper reports on the replication and extension of a previous evaluation, with a second wave of 858 day treatment discharges during school years 2001-02 and 2002-03. The original finding of a significant reduction in reoffending for youths participating three months or more in a CSF Buxmont Academy restorative environment was replicated with a new cohort of youths and was still evident for the original cohort at two years following discharge.

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