Jail focus blunts restorative justice

Victims of crime perpetrated by young offenders have not been adequately served by the Youth Justice Board and youth offending teams through restorative justice schemes, a report argues today.

The wide-ranging study of restorative justice, published this week by the think-tank The Smith Institute, says the board and YOTs’ duty to manage custodial sentences has constrained the ability to deliver such schemes.

The report studied the evidence on the success of restorative justice programmes for both adults and children from 36 trials in four countries, and found evidence of reduced re-offending and better mental health outcomes for victims.

Restorative justice entails offenders making amends for their crimes through reparations to victims or through mediated face-to-face meetings to explain their actions.

The YJB welcomed the study and said its findings were interesting. But a spokesperson added: “[Restorative justice] is currently being used effectively by youth offending teams, across the secure estate and in other settings such as safer schools partnerships.”

Restorative Justice: The Evidence

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