Resolution Online

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

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Restorative justice and prisons - an opportunity?

14 December 2015

This will be my last blog before Christmas and as 2015 draws to a close it is an opportune moment to reflect on the past year. Clearly the general election in May was a standout moment. With many planning for a coalition, possibly between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the election of a majority Conservative government was largely unexpected. It also brought – in another surprise – Michael Gove to the Ministry of Justice.

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The spending review and restorative justice

30 November 2015

Last week’s spending review was expected to herald unprecedented cuts across the justice system. Police budgets were expected to be slashed, while cuts in the Ministry of Justice’s budget of 30% or more were widely predicted. In the end, what emerged was nothing like as bad as many in the criminal justice world had feared.

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Have you got 2020 vision?

16 November 2015

As part of International Restorative Justice Week, this Wednesday we are holding our AGM and annual conference. This will be a chance to reflect on the work of the RJC and our members over the last year. But it will also be a chance to look forward. The theme of the conference is ‘2020 vision’ (pun intended) and we’ll be discussing what lies ahead for the restorative practice field over the next five years.

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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.