Restorative practices in Hungary: An ex-prisoner is reintegrated into the community
from the article by Vidia Negrea:
As the representative of Community Service Foundation of Hungary, the Hungarian affiliate of the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), I participated in a group session of the Hungarian Crime Prevention and Prison Mission Foundation in summer 2009 (Sycamore Tree Project — or Zacchaeus Program in Hungary). There I met the governor of Balassagyarmat prison, where inmates were working in groups on issues related to their crimes and exploring ways to repair relationships they had damaged.
Some inmates began accepting responsibility for what they had done and were motivated to make things right and earn forgiveness of victims and their families. Prisoners made symbolic reparation in the form of community service within the prison, but there was still a lot to do to create opportunities for offenders to make contact with victims and shed the stigma of their offense by means of direct reparation. Also, prison management believed it important to support processes, acceptable to victimized families and communities, to help prisoners regain control of their lives and prevent reoffending.
Three-year research project on mediation and restorative justice in prison settings
from the flyer announcing the project:
The Mediation and Restorative Justice in Prison Settings Project is a three year international exchange project funded by the European Commission, between the counties of Germany, Hungary and the UK.
The project will identify, exchange and develop best practice for the use of restorative justice (“RJ”) with the most serious crimes, particularly those against persons and property attracting a custodial sentence. Research suggests that RJ can have the biggest impact on the lives of victims and offenders where such serious crimes have been committed.