Why and How to Support Restorative Justice [ChildHub toolkit]

The following ChildHub summary represents an excerpt from the recent European Council for Juvenile Justice report on best practises within the EU. It illustrates a widespread attraction to use restorative measures. Yet, the findings suggest its practice in European countries is very limited, even non-existent. The document, therefore, provides an elaboration of key arguments for why it is important to support development of restorative justice measures as well as essential steps on how to do it.

Why support restorative justice:

  • Restorative justice is a way of understanding and doing justice through the active participation of victims, perpetrators and the community in repairing harm and preventing further harm.
  • Restorative justice delivers justice more quickly, more fairly and at a lower cost than formal systems of justice.
  • Restorative justice reduces the costs of state interventions, satisfies victims, stimulates remorse in perpetrators and reduces the risk of reoffending.
  • Restorative justice is supported by international and European policy.
  • Restorative justice contributes to bringing up children who can flourish in modern, democratic and pluralist European societies.

Key recommendations outlined by the report include:

  1. Pass legislation enabling or mandating prosecutors and judges to refer suitable cases for restorative processes.
  2. Develop a holistic policy for criminal justice that includes prevention, diversion from the formal system, diversion from detention and reintegration through restorative processes.
  3. Review policies on family support, children and schools to introduce restorative processes.
  4. Establish standards of practice to assure the quality of restorative processes
  5. Support high quality training to prepare practitioners to engage and prepare parties for participation in restorative processes and to facilitate the processes.
  6. Promote restorative justice with the public and among key stakeholders.
  7. Commission research into the delivery of restorative justice and its outcomes.

Excerpt from European Research on Restorative Juvenile Justice: Toolkit for Professionals: Implementing a European Model for Restorative Justice with Children and Young People.

Read the full report here. 


Date published