Resolution Online

Read our latest posts and join in the discussion on a range of subjects related to restorative practice.

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Are we failing female offenders?

4 November 2015

A decade or so ago I worked at the Fawcett Society, a charity that campaigns for gender equality, leading their work to improve the criminal justice system for women who offend. It was a topical issue – Baroness Corston was in the process of conducting her government-sponsored review on this issue – and there was an emerging political consensus that the justice system simply did not work well enough for women. It was broadly agreed that prison, and particularly short prison sentences, were overused, with serious effects on the women’s own wellbeing as well as that of their families.

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Forgive and forget?

19 October 2015

Last week I met the new chief executive of the Forgiveness Project, now chaired by my predecessor at the RJC, Lizzie Nelson. Among other issues, we discussed how forgiveness relates to restorative justice. When asked by a friend when I first joined the RJC, this was something that I really struggled to explain. Eighteen months later it remains a challenging issue.

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Could social finance be the future of restorative justice?

5 October 2015

I recently had an informal meeting with the Cabinet Office to discuss social impact bonds. It was purely an exploratory discussion, as part of our work to help the restorative practice field develop and grow.

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Restorative justice and sexual violence

21 September 2015

Last week I attended Restorative Gloucestershire's excellent annual conference. Not only was it great to hear about their work and meet some of their very impressive volunteers, but it was also an opportunity to hear Rosalyn Boyce speak.

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A restorative response to underage sexting?

7 September 2015

Last week a case involving a boy who sent a naked picture of himself to a schoolmate, and the subsequent involvement of the police, made the news.

When the police became aware that this incident had occurred they had little choice but to record it as a crime. The boy hasn’t been charged but his involvement in this incident is now on police records and may therefore be accessible if anyone requests an advanced criminal record check. This is far from ideal, but it’s hard to see what else the police could have done in these circumstances.

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Proceeding with caution

24 August 2015

A couple of weeks ago the Howard League launched a campaign focused on the new criminal courts charge, which is imposed on anyone convicted of an offence regardless of their capacity to pay. Through this campaign they have highlighted examples of cases where offenders have faced steep financial penalties for relatively minor crimes. The media has also recently focused on the case of Louisa Sewell, who was given a £328.75 fine for stealing a packet of Mars Bars.

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Harnessing parent power for restorative schools

10 August 2015

As my daughter moves through the primary school where I'm also a governor, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the challenges of imposing discipline positively and constructively in a school environment, while also addressing the concerns of parents whose children have been affected by problematic behaviour.

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What does a restorative society look like?

27 July 2015

At the RJC, our vision is that everyone should live in a genuinely restorative society. But what would this really mean in practice? Would it be like everyone moving to Hull (figuratively at least), probably the best known restorative city? Or is there more to it than that?

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Restorative justice in prisons - where there’s a will, but no way

13 July 2015

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited by Prison Fellowship to attend a session of their Sycamore Tree programme. It was a fascinating insight into the work that they do with prisoners and a great opportunity to discuss with prisoners what they thought that they had got from the course.

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Standing up for restorative schools

29 June 2015

Under the headline ‘The school that says there’s no such thing as a naughty child’, yesterday’s Mail on Sunday contained an article on a primary school that - as is made clear in a more positive recent feature in Schools Week - is run on restorative principles.