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

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Victims of child sexual abuse and restorative justice

5 December 2016

Last week the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse published the first personal accounts from survivors who have taken part in their Truth Project, which provides a safe environment in which survivors of child sexual abuse can share their experiences. Unsurprisingly, they make harrowing reading.

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Celebrating International Restorative Justice Week

21 November 2016

This week is International Restorative Justice Week. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the restorative practice field in the last year, to look forward to what’s coming up in the future, and to celebrate the great restorative work going on around the country.

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Restorative prisons - an idea worth exploring

20 November 2016

If there’s one thing that almost everybody can agree on at the moment, it’s that the prison system is in a mess. The Justice Secretary recently described a “toxic cocktail of drugs, drones and mobile phones that are flooding our prisons, imperilling the safety of staff and offenders and thwarting reform”.

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Prison reform - what's in it for restorative justice?

8 November 2016

The criminal justice world was dominated last week by the publication of Prison Safety and Reform, the long-awaited Ministry of Justice White Paper. After the promise of the Gove era, these proposals are intended to set out how his successor, Liz Truss, will deliver what the then Prime Minister David Cameron described earlier this year as “the biggest shake-up in the way our prisons are run since the Victorian times”.

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CRCs and restorative justice – the story so far

24 October 2016

The Financial Times recently reported that the delivery of probation services is in trouble, with the contracts awarded to private companies to manage Community Rehabilitation Companies branded ‘lossmaking and unsustainable’. This is barely news – CRCs have been expressing concerns about caseloads and costs for some time.

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How can we create safer prisons?

5 October 2016

On Sunday, the always well informed James Forsyth reported that there is ‘mounting concern at the top of government about how close to meltdown the prison system is’. This is hardly a surprise. Report after report in the last few months has highlighted the perilous state of the prison system, while recent prison statistics make grim reading.

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What should the Home Office’s priorities be on restorative justice?

19 September 2016

As with the Ministry of Justice, the subject of a previous blog, the whole ministerial team at the Home Office changed before the summer, with a fresh face in every ministerial position. Yet, with the previous Home Secretary now in Downing Street, we can reasonably expect more continuity in Home Office policy than in many other departments. Amber Rudd will want to make her mark as Home Secretary, of course, but it’s hard to see a radical reshaping of her predecessor’s agenda.

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Restorative practice and the Department for Education – what’s next?

5 September 2016

Unlike the Ministry of Justice, which was the focus of my blog from 1 August, the Department for Education has seen some ministerial survivors of the recent reshuffle. A new secretary of state, Justine Greening, has come in to replace Nicky Morgan and Nick Boles and Sam Gyimah have moved on (the latter to the Ministry of Justice). But the two key ministers of state, Nick Gibb and Edward Timpson, have survived (as have universities minister Jo Johnson and junior schools minister Lord Nash).

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How can more victims access restorative justice?

15 August 2016

Last week the Office for National Statistics published new data on restorative justice from the Crime Survey for England and Wales. It shows that in 2015-16 only 4.2% of victims of crime where the offender was known to the police recall being offered restorative justice.

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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.