Julie and Anthony’s story
After Anthony, 15, lost his temper during a game of football and assaulted another boy, he was offered the chance to take part in a restorative justice conference. Here, Anthony and his mum Julie explain how it helped them to move on from the incident and deal with his behaviour.
Anthony: I was playing football and there was a lad there called Ben*. He had come out with me and my friends a few times before but I didn't really know him well. During the game I thought that Ben had kicked me but he hadn't really done anything. I got really angry. I just lost it for no reason whatsoever. After the game as he was walking off I chased after him and as he turned around I hit him in the face and cut his eye open. After that I just ran home....
Hergo: 3 testimonies. Conferencing in Belgium
In Belgium, Judges of the Juvenile Court can propose a Hergo as a response to serious crimes. During such a conference, the underage offender (and his parents) and the victim, both with their personal supporters, look for redress towards victim and society. The minor also plans what he intends to do to prevent recidivism. A police inspector is present at the meeting. A neutral facilitator has preparatory talks with all parties concerned. He chairs the conference. Afterwards, the Judge ratifies the plan for redress during a session of the Juvenile Court.
Every year, about 100 minors and the same amount of victims receive a proposal for a Hergo from one of the Juvenile Judges in Flanders. One in three cases leads to a real conference.
When Tania [not her real name] was robbed on a busy street, her confidence was destroyed. Here, she talks about why she decided to take part in a restorative justice conference with her mugger, and what it gave her back.
“I was on my way to the local shops when I felt what I thought was someone bumping into me. It took me a few seconds to realise that someone had grabbed my handbag and I was dragged, screaming, along the pavement. I tried very hard to hold on to it but I couldn’t and the man took off up a side road. It was broad daylight and so there were quite a lot of people around. A lady who had seen everything contacted the police straight away and several people tried to follow the mugger...."
'I slept through the night for the first time since she died': The mum who went to prison to meet man responsible for daughter's death
Kate Morgan had struggled to come to terms with the death of her 22-year-old daughter Lona Wyn Jones in a horrific car crash two years ago.
The 45-year-old from Dolgellau desperately wanted to visit the driver, Ian Edwards, who was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison after pleading guilty to dangerous driving.
She said she had questions that only he could answer....
'Premier League villains' go straight after meeting victims
Durham Police chief constable Mike Barton said between them David Clark and Shaun Morton committed about 500 crimes a year.
But after taking part in a restorative justice scheme, both are now drink and drug free and volunteering with other addict criminals.
Restorative Justice Conference between R and Mr Q
from the case report by Mark Creitzman:
It was at this point, that Mr Q mentioned that he felt that he would like to be able to forgive R by the end of the meeting and that he had a challenge for R to consider.
Mr Q asked R if he was up to a challenge and he nodded ‘Yes’. Mr Q said that if R could prove that he wanted to change the path of his life and made progress in Cookham Wood, that on his exit from the YOI, Mr Q would mentor him and support him through his transition. Mr Q told us that his long-term plan could involve R and himself using the negativity of the offence and turning it in to a ‘power for good’ and delivering sessions to schools, YOIs, colleges or universities.
Offender: “Sycamore Tree is not just a course, but a life changer”
from the article by PF England and Wales:
I completed this course some months ago, but I am still experiencing the benefits even today. I am a huge advocate of Sycamore Tree as it has opened my eyes to the impact of my crime on numerous people, especially those who I did not know about, those who were victims through the ripple effect.
Home raid victim meets her burglar
from the article in The Argus:
A burglary victim has told how she met the man who broke into her family’s home.
The homeowner met the jailed burglar through the Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership – a scheme where victims meet offenders to tell them how they feel.
from the article from the Restorative Justice Council:
"It was January, and I was walking my dog some time after 4pm – it was almost dark. It was absolutely freezing, and I was walking along a well-lit footpath near where I live. My phone rang, and I dug it out of my pocket – I was so wrapped up against the cold that only my eyes and nose were uncovered.
Gunman at my door: How one sentence saved my life
from the article by Prison Fellowship England & Wales:
Robert*, a Prison Fellowship volunteer on our Sycamore Tree programme, shares with us how he was determined to turn a few moments of terror at gunpoint into a life-changing meeting of restoration.