A review of the Youth Justice System in Northern Ireland
One of the most positive developments to have arisen out of Northern Ireland’s recent history is the expansion of rich and varied restorative practices. Restorative approaches have been used to respond to offending and anti-social behaviour, family disputes, disruptive behaviour in schools and children’s homes and in helping prisoners reintegrate back into their communities. Early teething problems have been largely overcome and professional practice in restorative justice in Northern Ireland is now internationally recognised.
Youth justice report claims restorative justice would be more effective than courts
The government is being urged to deal with the majority of young offenders in England and Wales through restorative justice conferences rather than the courts, in a report on youth justice hearings.
The report, called Time For A New Hearing, is based on an international comparison of how young offenders are dealt with and found that restorative justice conferences are more effective than courts in reducing reoffending.
Response to the (UK) Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
Note: The Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Antisocial Behaviour was formed in the UK to seek:
...ways to reduce the damage that children and young people who take part in antisocial and criminal acts can cause to victims, to neighbourhoods and to themselves. In inviting views on how this should be done, we acknowledge the emotional and social harm as well as the financial costs that can result from such behaviour.
We are looking for ways of responding to youth crime and antisocial behaviour that are more clearly principled, as well as fair, humane and more cost-effective than those presently in place. We anticipate that such a system would not only meet the needs of children, families and the wider community more effectively, but also – through its grounding in agreed principles – prove politically sustainable.
Here are portions of Dr. Martin Wright's comments on a consultation paper released by the Commission for discussion. The full document is available below.