It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It’s the week before the Christmas break, and I’m sure that none of my regular readers (hello to my mum and the people who are paid by the RJC to read this) want another lengthy policy-based diatribe when everybody is already thinking about the holidays.

I would, however, like to take this opportunity to wish all of the RJC’s members, partners, supporters and staff a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 2016 has been a busy year - looking back, we’ve had the European Referendum and its toxic fallout, a new Prime Minister and a radically-reshaped government. PCC elections brought in a new tranche of key local decision makers and devolution is now poised to reshape the political landscape.

We’ve also seen changes in the restorative practice field. Among a plethora of reviews, the Justice Committee has endorsed the government’s vision for restorative justice to be available at every stage of the justice system, the Victims’ Commissioner has reiterated the difference that restorative justice can make for victims of crime while highlighting that far too few are offered it, and two reviews on children in care – by Lord Laming and Martin Narey – have recommended greater use of restorative practice in care homes. There will be a lot for all of us to work with in 2017.

After all that I’m looking forward to having a break over Christmas with my family. Or at least I’m looking forward to it as much as anybody would be who has three small children who have been excited about Christmas since bonfire night.

With that in mind I have been honing my restorative parenting skills, as discussed in a previous blog. Over Christmas I’m looking forward to conferences to discuss the impact of toy theft on those involved, circles to resolve disputes over the TV remote (which may or may not involve my parents in law), and using the restorative questions to work out just what the cause was of a tearful toddler. All in all, it should be quite the ‘holiday’.

I hope that all of your breaks are considerably more relaxing and normal blogging will be resumed in the New Year. Thanks for reading and happy Christmas!