Blog

Read our latest posts on a range of subjects related to restorative practice below. 

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Priorities for the new-look Ministry of Justice

1 August 2016

When Theresa May became Prime Minister in July, she carried out a comprehensive reshuffle which extended far beyond the cabinet. Those expecting continuity were largely confounded, with the Ministry of Justice being particularly affected by the sweeping changes. The entire ministerial team was moved out - most not just out of the department, but out of the government and onto the backbenches.

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We need to talk about Brexit

Jon Collins
18 July 2016

It’s been nearly a month since we woke up to Brexit, and things have moved fast. Since then we’ve had Cameron’s resignation, Gove’s Brutus act, ‘mothergate’, new PM Theresa May and the most comprehensive cabinet reshuffle I can remember. More seriously, and away from our political melodrama, the horrific attack in Nice has added yet another incident to the lengthening list of recent events almost too awful to bear. The referendum is so last month.

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A restorative approach to hate crime

Jon Collins
4 July 2016

Amid the political and economic turmoil that has followed the vote for Brexit, one of the most upsetting developments has been what appears to be a sharp spike in hate crime. The police have seen a noticeable increase in the number of incidents reported to them, while social media has been flooded with examples of abuse targeted at people who are, or who are thought to be, immigrants.

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Reflections on a terrible week

Jon Collins
20 June 2016

When I sit down to write my blogs I normally look back on the previous week’s news to get ideas and inspiration. But last week was unremittingly bleak, with the awful mass shooting in Orlando targeting members of the LGBT community and the tragic murder of the MP Jo Cox, all against a backdrop of the toxic political environment created by the EU referendum campaigns. Within this context, I’ve rarely felt less inspired to write something positive about anything.

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Does rehabilitation matter?

Jon Collins
6 June 2016

On Friday, the Labour Campaign for Prison Reform (which doesn’t appear to be in any way formally associated with the party) published an article on the government’s plans for restorative justice. While it is broadly positive, it states that “for restorative justice to be worthwhile, it has to prevent prisoners from reoffending”. Given the renewed focus on rehabilitation in the justice system there is now significant support for this view. But is it right?

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The Laming review - what are the next steps?

Jon Collins
23 May 2016

As I’ve written before, it’s a scandal that so many of the children who end up in custody have previously been in care. It’s therefore very welcome that the Prison Reform Trust has sponsored a year-long review into this issue, chaired by Lord Laming, which has reported today. It highlights the urgent need to address this issue if all children in care are to get the best start in life.

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What’s next? The RJC’s plans for the coming year

Jon Collins
9 May 2016

From time to time I find it useful to take stock and to look at what projects we have on the go at the RJC, what we have coming up, and what we would like to do next. This helps to ensure that what we are doing is in line with our priorities and aims as an organisation, to check that we have the right balance of work, and to identify any gaps. A month or so into the new financial year we have been going through that process and I thought that it might be useful to share the highlights of our current work programme.

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Getting Ofsted engaged with restorative practice

Jon Collins
25 April 2016

According to media reports over the weekend, the appointment of a new head of Ofsted is imminent. And while the people who are reportedly on the shortlist may not be familiar to most of us, this could be a very significant appointment for the future development of restorative practice.

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Do you need an offender for restorative justice?

Jon Collins
11 April 2016

“I want to even out the power imbalance between us, to sit across the table on my terms and look into his eyes.” 

This quote, taken from a powerful excerpt from her forthcoming book, describes why Carmen Aguirre wanted to meet the man who had raped her as a teenager. This is in no way unusual. Many of the victims who I have spoken to have wanted to regain power and control, as an important step towards putting a crime behind them and moving on. 

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Why take part in restorative justice?

Jon Collins
29 March 2016

As part of their current inquiry, the RJC and Why me? recently gave a joint briefing to members of the Justice Select Committee on restorative justice. It was an interesting and enjoyable session – an opportunity to discuss issues in a less straightened setting than when giving formal evidence. Amid a plethora of thought-provoking questions, one stood out as meriting further discussion.

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