RESTORATIVE PRACTICES FORUM (NI)






 

QUAKER SERVICE - 541 LISBURN ROAD, BELFAST, COUNTY ANTRIM BT9 7GQ. T: 02890201444 F: 02890201881 W: WWW.QUAKERSERVICE.COM

Charity Registration Number: NIC 102457    Registered as a company Limited by Guarantee in Northern Ireland Number: NI063929

Our Aim

Aim: To promote restorative justice philosophy and restorative practices across all aspects of life and society.


'Restorative Justice works to resolve conflict and repair harm. It encourages those who have caused harm to acknowledge the impact of what they have done and gives them an opportunity to make reparation. It offers those who have suffered harm the opportunity to have their harm or loss acknowledged and amends made.'


Restorative Practices Forum (NI)

Our Membership

Our History

The Forum began life as the Restorative Justice Working Group in 1994 formed following a Restorative Justice Conference that year.  The group aimed to establish restorative justice as an integral part of the criminal justice system and not just as an adjunct to it.


Following the “10 Years On” conference organised by the RJWG in 2004, the group re-established itself as a Forum, reflecting a change in emphasis, acknowledging that the day to day work is now being done by a wide range of organisations and sectors.

  1. -Provision of an independent, neutral space in which restorative justice thinking, practice and developments can be discussed, analysed and explored.


- Promotion of learning through seminars, conferences, research, and the dissemination of information.

Voluntary/Community sector


Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI)

Consensus Restorative Justice & Mediation

Extern

Family Group Conference (NI)

Independent

NIACRO

Northern Ireland Alternatives

Prison Fellowship NI

Quaker Service

Resolve

Restorative Practices Ireland (RPI)

Victim Support NI

Statutory Sector


Commission for Victims & Survivors

Law Society

NI Human Rights Commission

NI Prison Service

Police Service NI

Probation Board NI

Public Prosecution Service NI

Youth Justice Agency NI

Education and Training


NEELB, Education Welfare Service

Queen’s University Belfast

Skills for Justice

Ulster University

Judiciary & Magistracy


Resident Magistrate

Retired Judge


Independent


Consensus NI

Partnerships

The Forum is closely associated with the Association for Restorative Practitioners (NI) and Restorative Practices Ireland


http://www.restorativepracticesireland.ie

The Forum’s Events Planning Sub Group set up a meeting in September 2012 with practitioners and colleagues from across Ireland to ascertain if there was an appetite for an all-island conference to run during International Restorative Justice Week 2013.  This resulted in the birth of the Restorative Connections Planning Group which went on to develop the concept and plan logistics for a major event attended by 150 people from across Ireland in November 2013 in Dundalk. 


Since then, 2 further seminars have been held as well as the 2nd all-Ireland conference on 25th-26th May 2016 at the Institute of Technology, Dundalk”.  A report of the conference is available on our downloads page (see below)

All-Ireland

Approach

Current Sub-Groups


Events Planning Sub-Group, Research Sub-Group & Education Sub-Group

Events To Date

  1. -1st all Ireland Conference:20-21 November 2013, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dundalk

  2. -Restorative Justice: Meeting the needs of victims of crime?6th May 2015, The Probation Service Headquarters, Haymarket Dublin 7. Victim Seminar Report May 2015.doc

  3. -Restorative Justice: Empowering, Effective, Engagement with Young People, 1st October 2015. The Redeemer Family Resource Centre Dundalk. Young People Seminar Report - Oct 2015.pdf

  4. -2nd all Ireland Conference: The second all Ireland Conference was held on 25th-26th May 2016 at the Institute of Technology, Dundalk

Publications

Mapping Report -

Restorative Practices in Northern Ireland, Nov 2010

Restorative Justice -

A Guide For Young People

All teachers should be trained to use Restorative Practices in the classroom and the approach should be used in all schools – a major conference has heard today in Dundalk.


Janette McKnight, Restorative Justice Forum Northern Ireland chairperson,  said the Programme for Government, which is currently being negotiated in Northern Ireland, should include cross-departmental recognition of Restorative Practices and greater integration of the approach across all public and social services, particularly in schools.


The conference was co-hosted by Restorative Practices Ireland and the Restorative Justice Forum Northern Ireland.


Restorative Practices is a proven model for working in community settings, including schools, which builds communications skills and relationships to tackle problems and also prevent problems before they occur.

Ms McKnight, who is also the director of Quaker Service and guest editor of VIEW’s next issue on Prisons and Justice, said: “Restorative approaches can be applied to great benefit across many sectors and there is a particular opportunity to bring the approach more into education and schools, both primary and post primary.”


“Training on using a restorative approach in the classroom – both for behaviour management and to assist learning – should be part of all teacher training and professional development. Teachers should also be formally encouraged by the education curriculum to apply a restorative approach in the classroom, and also to train pupils in restorative skills.


“To date restorative practices in schools has been carried out sporadically in Northern Ireland. The Integrated College Dungannon, is an example of a school that has adopted restorative values and ethos and these have had hugely positive impacts on those who teach and learn there as well as benefitting their families

and local communities. Research has additionally shown this is a more cost effective way to resolve conflicts within the education context.


“Given the success of restorative justice in the youth justice system, both in terms of cost effectiveness and human capital, we are very keen that the effectiveness of this approach is mirrored in our education system.”


Restorative Practice practitioner and trainer Claire Matthews said effective use of Restorative Practices in schools maximises the potential of the whole-school community.


“It facilitates meaningful change in teaching and learning; everything is more possible as the emotional climate of the school is one of connection where reflection and a solution-focused approach is embedded,” she said.


Research carried out in Northern Ireland in the justice sector found that offenders who participated in Restorative Practice processes were up to 40 per cent less likely to re-offend than those who were imprisoned and up to 20 per cent less likely than those put on probation or into community services.


The next issue of VIEW magazine, with guest editor Janette McKnight, director of Quaker Service, will look at the subject of Prisons and Justice. It goes online on May 31. To get a free copy, sign up at http://viewdigital.org/sign-get-view/



Image: Janette McKnight at the conference in Dundalk: Photography: Conor Healy Photography

Text: By Brian Pelan

Conference calls for Restorative Practices to be used in all schools

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