Developing Restorative Justice in Scotland: Learning from local and international experience
Restorative justice (RJ) is a process that brings together those harmed by crime and those responsible for the harm to safely discuss the harm and how it might be set right. International research suggests RJ can help victims recover from harm, encourage those involved in crime to desist from offending, and provide a more satisfying experience of the justice process. RJ is used across the world in a variety of ways, but only relatively infrequently in Scotland, and rarely with serious crime committed by adults. Given the evidence for the potential benefits of RJ for both victim and offender, as well as communities, the time has come to bring these insights to bear on the case for developing RJ in Scotland where and in ways in which it can be most helpful.
This project was funded by the Scottish University Insight Institute and involved a series of events, facilitated as open, constructive dialogues or conversations, running from March to October 2017. Our programme included: what research is telling us about RJ and what practice and policy in Scotland may learn from this; RJ and desistance from crime; RJ and recovery from harm; RJ and sensitive crimes. We had a final full-day conference in the autumn in which the learning from the programme of conversations was focused on the future for RJ in Scotland. In addition there was be an event in autumn 2017 on communicating justice.
For further information, please see the project webpage:
Kirkwood, S. & Munro, M. (2017). Warm words and no action: The fate of restorative justice in Scotland. Scottish Justice Matters, 5 (1), 2-3.
Mary Munro, University of Strathclyde
Associate programme leads:
Cyrus Tata, University of Strathclyde
Fiona Jamieson, University of Edinburgh
Wider programme team:
Jenny Johnstone, Newcastle University
Dr Giuseppe Maglione, Napier University
Prof. Joanna Shapland, University of Sheffield
Dr Claire Lightowler, Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice
Prof. Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow
Tom Halpin, Sacro
Pete White, Positive Prison? Positive Futures . . .
Dr Trish McCulloch, University of Dundee
Sarah Armstrong, Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research