RJC publishes new research on making restorative justice work for female offenders

node leader
30 March 2016

The RJC has published Making restorative justice work for women who have offended, a new research report that sets out a series of recommendations for practitioners and policy makers on how to improve female offenders’ access to and experiences of restorative justice.

The report recommends that all female offenders should be offered a chance to take part in restorative justice, calls for partnerships to be developed between women’s centres and restorative justice services to ensure that women taking part in restorative justice can access appropriate support, and highlights the need for restorative justice practitioners to be aware of the particular needs of women who have offended.

Written by Dr Linnéa Österman and Dr Isla Masson and funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust, the report is based on interviews with restorative justice practitioners who have experience of working with female offenders and with women who have themselves gone through a restorative justice process. It addresses a major gap in our research and knowledge regarding female offenders and restorative justice.

Jon Collins, the RJC’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to publish this new report on restorative justice and women offenders. This is a valuable study and will hopefully prove to be the catalyst for a much needed discussion on how to develop gender-sensitive restorative justice practice.

“The report finds that while there is good practice taking place, there are also considerable inconsistencies in the provision of restorative justice and a fundamental lack of effective, joined-up working. This needs to be addressed.

“These findings demonstrate the importance of ensuring that wherever restorative justice is made available it is delivered to a high standard and underline why the RJC has developed standards and accredits practitioners and services. We know that restorative justice works and this report will contribute to making it more accessible for women who have committed offences.”

The full report can be found here, and a practitioners guide for working with women offenders can be found here.