The International Journal of Restorative Justice


The spaces for restorative justice practices in a forensic inpatient mental health hospital: a thematic analysis of group case supervision.

Keywords restorative justice, secure, forensic, inpatient, mental health, implementation
Authors James Tapp en Chelsea Verrinder
Author's information

James Tapp
James Tapp, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, London, United Kingdom and psychologist at Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne, United Kingdom.

Chelsea Verrinder
Chelsea Verrinder is a Nurse Degree Apprentice at Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne and Buckinghamshire New University, United Kingdom. Corresponding author: James Tapp at
  • Abstract

      Restorative justice practices are relatively new to forensic mental health settings. Therefore, there is limited understanding of where and how these practices might feature in this work. The current study explored the spaces for them in a forensic inpatient hospital drawing upon data from group case supervision. Five themes were developed from three concurrent monthly case supervision sessions attended by fourteen restorative justice practitioners. Challenges to using restorative justice practices where participants had mental health needs were evident, but these needs were not thought to preclude their use. Practitioners brought up implications for workload. Assumptions about the principle of neutrality were raised, where staff had different roles in the process. Staff as participants in restorative justice practices raised considerations around professional identity and vulnerability. Restorative justice practices offered unique and complementary ways to repair harm, but these may not always fit within the values or needs of the organisation. The idea of bringing together people affected by harm can raise worries and may feel counter-intuitive to practices that reduce risk. It was important that new staff were made aware of restorative justice opportunities and that policies and procedures were in place and communicated to protect and foster its new status.

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