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Article

Restorative justice practice in forensic mental health settings: bridging the gap

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue Online First 2021
Keywords restorative justice in mental health, evidence-based practice, institutional settings, victims, ethics
Authors Gerard Drennan and Fin Swanepoel
AbstractAuthor's information

    The ‘clinic’ has developed sophisticated systems for responding to the challenge of serious mental health conditions. Mental health services combine hierarchical decision-making processes, with clear medical authority, with interventions that are required to be evidence-based to the highest standard. This is a system in which ethical, defensible practice is imperative to protect the public and to protect practitioners from legal liability in the event of adverse outcomes. Restorative justice interventions are powerful ‘medicine’. At their best, they change lives. However, the evidence base for formal restorative justice interventions when ‘administered’ to people with severe mental health difficulties is almost non-existent. It is into this relative vacuum of empirical support that initial steps are being taken to formalise access to restorative justice for mental health populations. This article will consider the challenges for applications of restorative justice in mental health settings and how the gap between the principle of equality of access and actual practice could be conceptualised and bridged. Recommendations include a rigorous commitment to meeting the needs of victims; a focus on the mental health patient’s capacity to consent rather than the capacity to benefit; practice-based evidence development and the inclusion of restorative justice awareness in all mental health practitioner training.


Gerard Drennan
Gerard Drennan is Head of Psychology & Psychotherapy at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Fin Swanepoel
Fin Swanepoel is a Restorative Justice Practitioner at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom. Corresponding author: Gerard Drennan at Gerard.Drennan@slam.nhs.uk. Acknowledgements: We wish to thank the reviewers of the first submission of this article for their helpful comments and suggestions as the article was significantly improved by their guidance. We also wish to thank our colleagues in forensic mental health services who are also working to introduce restorative justice practices in their settings. We have learnt so much from their vision and commitment. We have been sustained in our journey because we journey with them.

Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt
Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt is Professor of Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (UNICAP), Brazil and Assistant Professor at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), USA, and Book Review Editor of this journal.

Kennedy Anderson Domingos de Farias
Kennedy Anderson Domingos de Farias is an undergraduate law student at UNICAP, Brazil. Contact author: fernanda.rosenblatt@unicap.br.

Ian D. Marder
Ian D. Marder is a Lecturer in Criminology in the Department of Law at Maynooth University, Ireland.

Meredith Rossner
Meredith Rossner is a Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Social Research and Methods at Australia National University, Australia. Contact author: Ian.Marder@mu.ie.

Lisa Merkel-Holguin
Lisa Merkel-Holguin is the Director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Pediatrics, Aurora, Colorado, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA. Contact author: lisa.merkel-holguin@cuanschutz.edu.
Article

Environmental justice movements and restorative justice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2021
Keywords restorative justice, environmental conflicts, environmental justice movements
Authors Angèle Minguet
AbstractAuthor's information

    The worldwide existing environmental conflicts have also given rise to worldwide environmental justice movements. Using a diversity of tools that range from petitions to legal actions, what such movements have often shown is that environmental conflicts rarely find a satisfactory resolution through criminal judicial avenues. Given this reality, the important question then is whether there is a place within environmental justice movements for a restorative justice approach, which would lead to the reparation or restoration of the environment and involve the offenders, the victims and other interested parties in the conflict transformation process. Based on the analysis of environmental conflicts collected by the Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade project (EJOLT), and more specifically on two emblematic environmental conflict cases in Nigeria and in Ecuador, the argument will be made that it is essentially due to the characteristics of environmental conflicts, and due to the fact that they almost never find a satisfactory resolution through traditional judicial avenues, that environmental justice movements ask for a restorative approach, and that restorative justice is a sine qua non condition to truly repair environmental injustices, as long as the worldview and nature of the victims is taken into consideration.


Angèle Minguet
Angèle Minguet is a researcher at the Research Centre in Political Science, Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (CReSPo), Belgium. Contact author: angele.minguet@gmail.com.

    The years 2018-2020 saw a number of new international legal instruments and guidelines relating to restorative justice. In 2018, a landmark Recommendation adopted by the Council of Europe and a Resolution by the Organization of American States encouraged its use in their regions. In 2019, the Milquet Report proposed amending a European Union Directive to promote restorative justice as a diversion from court, while in 2020, the European Union adopted a new Victims’ Strategy, and the United Nations published a revised Handbook on Restorative Justice Programmes. This article identifies and analyses the principal developments in this new international framework. It demonstrates the growing consensus on the potential applicability of restorative justice for all types of offences, and the emerging recognition that restorative justice should aim to satisfy the needs of all participants. It also explores statements endorsing the use of restorative justice beyond the criminal procedure and advising criminal justice institutions to utilise restorative principles to inform cultural change. The paper concludes that implementing international policies domestically requires justice reform advocates to build strong, trusting relationships, and organise inclusive partnerships, with all those who hold a stake in the development of restorative justice.


Ian D. Marder
Ian D. Marder is a Lecturer in Criminology at the Department of Law of the Maynooth University, Maynooth, Republic of Ireland. Contact author: Ian.Marder@mu.ie.

Gerd Delattre
Gerd Delattre was head of the TOA-Servicebureau by DBH e. V. in Cologne/Germany for over 20 years. He is considered a pioneer of victim-offender mediation in Germany.

Christoph Willms
Christoph Willms is assistant to the head of the TOA-Servicebureau by DBH e. V. Contact authors: gerd@delattre.de, christophwillms@web.de.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, USA. Contact author: awdzur@bgsu.edu.
Article

Victim-offender mediation in Denmark: or how institutional placement and organisation matter

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Danish VOM programme, police, victim-offender mediation, Norwegian Mediation Service, Konfliktråd
Authors Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the current state of the Danish police-based victim-offender mediation (VOM) programme is examined against the background of the Norwegian Mediation Service (NMS). In the two similar national languages both are called Konfliktråd, and the Danish programme – which was launched in 2010 – is named after and clearly inspired by the Norwegian service. Yet they differ in terms of organisational structure, capacity and use. Despite similar population size, the NMS completes around 12 times as many meetings as the Danish VOM programme. Furthermore, since 2016 the average number of meetings completed per year by the Danish programme has dropped significantly. In the article, I examine how the development of the Danish VOM programme has seemingly been held back by its placement in the police and also by a lack of clear prioritisation by management, political support and legal status. The VOM secretariat and local VOM coordinators attempt to mitigate the negative effects of these factors. Yet the framework of the Danish VOM programme seems to continue hindering the emulation of the Norwegian service in terms of capacity and use.


Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen
Katrine Barnekow Rasmussen is a PhD Fellow at the Faculty of Law of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact author: xsq276@ku.dk.

Jo-Anne Wemmers
Jo-Anne Wemmers is a Full Professor at the School of Criminology, Université de Montréal (Canada) and Researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology, Montréal, Canada.

Albert Dzur
Albert Dzur is Distinguished Research Professor, Departments of Political Science and Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, USA.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and an Endowed Professor of Restorative Justice at Maastricht University and Honorary Judge at the District Court of Limburg, the Netherlands.
Article

Looking beneath the iceberg: can shame and pride be handled restoratively in cases of workplace bullying

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Bullying, victimisation, shame management, pride management, social connectedness
Authors Valerie Braithwaite and Eliza Ahmed
AbstractAuthor's information

    Central to restorative justice interventions that follow revised reintegrative shaming theory (Ahmed, Harris, Braithwaite & Braithwaite, 2001) is individual capacity to manage shame and pride in safe and supportive spaces. From a random sample of 1,967 Australians who responded to a national crime survey, 1,045 completed a module about bullying experiences at work over the past year, along with measures of shame and pride management (the MOSS-SASD and MOPS scales). Those who identified themselves as having bullied others were pride-focused, not shame-focused. They were more likely to express narcissistic pride over their work success, lauding their feats over others, and were less likely to express humble pride, sharing their success with others. In contrast, victims were defined by acknowledged and displaced shame over work task failures. In addition to these personal impediments to social reintegration, those who bullied and those targeted had low trust in others, particularly professionals. While these findings do not challenge macro interventions for culture change through more respectful and restorative practices, they provide a basis for setting boundaries for the appropriate use of restorative justice meetings to address particular workplace bullying complaints.


Valerie Braithwaite
Valerie Braithwaite is a Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Eliza Ahmed
Eliza Ahmed is a visiting fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Martin Wright
Martin Wright is a member of the Editorial Committee of the European Forum for Restorative Justice Newsletter and is based in the United Kingdom.

Christa Pelikan
Christa Pelikan (PhD) is Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (IRKS), Vienna, Austria.

Otmar Hagemann
Otmar Hagemann is professor of social work at Kiel University of Applied Sciences, Kiel, Germany.

Annemieke Wolthuis
Annemieke Wolthuis (PhD) is an independent researcher, trainer and mediator in the field of human rights, children’s rights and restorative justice.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology of the Faculty of Law at Maastricht University.

Gert Jan Slump
Gert Jan Slump (MA) is an independent criminologist, restorative justice consultant and social entrepreneur.

Anneke van Hoek
Anneke van Hoek (MA) is an independent criminologist.

Marie Keenan
Marie Keenan is a lecturer and researcher at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin, a forensic and systemic psychologist and a restorative justice practitioner, Dublin, Ireland. Contact author: marie.keenan@ucd.ie.
Article

Restorative justice as empowerment: how to better serve the goals of punitive retribution

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 2 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, retributive punishment, empowerment of victims, restoring dignity and autonomy in survivors of crime
Authors Theo van Willigenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    Restorative justice practices are applied only to the margins of criminal justice systems. These systems generally punish the wrongdoer in order to give him his ‘just desert’. For restorative justice to be more attractive, we need to understand why punitive retribution is such a powerful motive. If the scales of justice are out of balance because of suffering inflicted (to the offended), why would the infliction of more suffering (to the offender) bring redemption? It is argued that much of the sting of being harmed by an offender derives from the identity implications of the act. Punitive retribution may satisfy short-lasting vindictive desires, but its main symbolic function is to restore the victim’s self-image and dignity by humiliating the perpetrator. This is done in a notoriously indirect and ineffective way, though. It is argued that restorative justice can do much better, if it is understood in terms of empowering the offended. This involves procedures that restore the victim’s autonomy, prestige and self-confidence. Apart from bringing the offended back into the driver’s seat of the process, restorative justice empowers the survivors of crime by helping them face offenders, face themselves and face their community. Restorative justice is not only much more rewarding than punitive retribution, it also provides better ways of communicating personal and public disapproval of crime.


Theo van Willigenburg
Theo van Willigenburg is resident research fellow at VU University Amsterdam and director of the Kant Academy, Utrecht (The Netherlands). Contact author: vanwilligenburg@kantacademy.nl.

Estelle Zinsstag

Ivo Aertsen

Lode Walgrave

Fernanda Fonseca Rosenblatt

Stephan Parmentier
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