Interview with the European Forum for Restorative Justice

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Author: 
James Simon
Date: 
13 May 2020

Jim Simon - RJC CEOOur CEO was recently interviewed by the European Forum for Restorative Justice as part of their #SolidarityOverDistance campaign. The interview focused on the current Covid-19 situation in the UK and our work in producing guidance for delivering restorative justice online.

Jim said ‘the current crisis had a swift and immediate impact on the delivery of restorative justice across the United Kingdom. Whilst there were some early indications of the actions our Government were likely to take, many service providers faced significant operational challenges in a short space of time.’

When asked what we can gain by this unprecedented situation, Jim stated ‘the current situation provides us with a unique opportunity to better understand the societal impact of Covid-19. From a restorative justice perspective, it restructures our understanding of harm. It is inevitable that individuals and communities will face unprecedented distress, uncertainty and harm throughout this crisis; from the frontline staff to those who have suffered bereavement. Restorative justice offers a platform to acknowledge impact, have an opportunity to ask questions and, where needed, repair and build relationships through a supportive, cohesive and collective restorative response.’

How do you experience this situation personally?

'It leads to mixed feelings. From a personal perspective it is a time of worry for my family, friends and colleagues but it has also created opportunities to engage differently and to revisit personal and professional priorities. Despite the negativity we continually see within the media, there are many positives which can be taken from the way in which our communities are working together and building relationships to support each other. It is also heartening to see the collective appreciation for all our frontline workers, from medics, to shop assistants, police to our refuse collectors; all of whom provide us with some sense of normality.'

Jim also talks about the interim guidelines developed by the RJC to support practitioners and service providers adapt practice during the lockdown period. In particular, he explains key considerations practitioners need to pay to attention to when working online. Members can access our Additional Practice Guidance on the Remote Delivery of Restorative Practice in the resources area of our website.

Read the full interview here