The International Journal of Restorative Justice

Article

Introducing and theorising an in-prison restorative justice programme: the second-generation Sycamore Tree Project

Keywords Sycamore Tree Project, in-prison restorative justice programming, human condition, liminality, narrative
Authors Jane Anderson
Author's information

328447 Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is Honorary Research Fellow, Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia. Contact author: jane.anderson@uwa.edu.au.
  • Abstract

      This article introduces an in-prison restorative justice programme: the second-generation Sycamore Tree Project (STP-2). The programme brings together crime victims and unrelated offenders in a prison setting to discuss and address the harm of crime to their lives. In the first part of the article, description is given to how STP-2 has evolved in Australia from a ‘faith-based’ programme to one that is restorative. In the second part, three anthropological theories are used to provide explanation and prediction of the transformative effects of in-prison restorative justice programming on prisoners as informed by STP-2. The prisoner-participant is viewed as a ‘person’ who, in liminal conditions, is afforded agency to create a meaningful narrative that is directed to revising how one is to associate with others in morally acceptable ways. The article concludes with a comparison between STP-1 and STP-2, and some proposals for research beyond this theoretical excursion.

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