|Mapping Restorative Justice in Northern Ireland
Dr Vicky Conway with Brian Payne (PhD candidate) and Colleen Bell, Alexis Falk, Helen Flynn, Conor McNeil and Fiona Rice (Masters Students)
Over the past two decades restorative justice has become a central part of the criminal justice system and dispute resolution more broadly in Northern Ireland. This project, commissioned by the Restorative Justice Forum set about mapping the full extent of restorative practices in Northern Ireland, to provide a baseline for future evaluations and to help practitioners in the field to be fully aware of the context within which they are working. To this end a study was conducted utilising both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. All known bodies utilising restorative justice were surveyed on their practices. This was then followed up with in-depth interviews exploring beliefs, attitudes and experiences of restorative justice.
While it has been in explored in detail how restorative justice has had an impact in this jurisdiction in both the formal justice system via youth conferencing and at the community level through groups like Northern Ireland Alternatives and Community Restorative Justice Ireland, this project documented that restorative practices have penetrated much further. We explore the use of such practices in community initiatives, schools, children’s care homes, prisons, statutory agencies and beyond. The full report can be accessed here.