Here's a news link to the 1st Singapore Restorative Conference. According to the story, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Masagos Zulkifli kicked off the conference by recommending the use of  restorative justice "to divert delinquent youth away from the court justice system." The article continues:

Mr Masagos, who also chairs the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR), said restorative justice, which balances deterrence with rehabilitation, is effective in reintegrating youth-at-risk back into society.

He added that restorative techniques focus on repairing harm and restoring relationships instead of assigning blame and dispensing punishment.

He cited Lutheran Community Care Services (LCCS) which used restorative practices to help Ping Yi Secondary School bring the number of disciplinary cases involving smoking and fights among students down. Punctuality at the school also improved by eight per cent over two terms.

LCCS is the only accredited licensee of the International Institute for Restorative Practices in Singapore, receiving accreditation at the end of last year.

It has partnered 25 schools to conduct Restorative Practice courses over the past four years.

Speakers and presenters included Australia's Terry O'Connell and John Braithwaite, and Lorenn Walker,
Former Deputy Attorney General of the State of Hawaii. The full list of presenters and bios can be seen here.

O'Connell, director of Real Justice Australia, noted that there were over 200 people in attendance. "Wonderful people, great conversations..." he commented.

Daniel Eng, Executive Director of Lutheran Community Care Services, also presented at the conference. He was instrumental in establishing LCCS's Centre for Restorative Practice training as an IIRP licensee to promote restorative practice in schools, institutional residential homes and workplace settings.

Readers may also be interested in an article I wrote several years ago, "Report From Singapore: A High School Adopts Restorative Practices,"about Ping Yi Secondary School, which was mentioned in the article above.

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