The Forgiveness Project are delighted to again be supporting Restorative Justice Week 2021, 21 – 28 November by sharing resources with prisons and probation in England and Wales.
Restorative Justice is a process that supports dialogue between those affected by crime or conflict and those responsible for that harm. It primarily views crime as injury rather than wrong-doing, and justice as healing rather than punishment.
We are sharing resources which explore the stories of people who have been through a restorative justice process as part of a week-long programme. We hope this will support people in prison and probation to consider taking part in a restorative justice process themselves.
This is the second year we have partnered on this work and this year the programme is taking place in seven prisons and young offender institutions as well as being made available to certain probation services.
This partnership grew out of RESTORE, our intensive group-based intervention programme that supports prisoners in their process of change towards desistance from crime. RESTORE demonstrates the power of transformative dialogue and supports the experience of bearing witness to each other’s lived stories within a safe, and non-judgemental space. 98% of participants complete the course and of those 42% of RESTORE participants request further exploration into restorative justice conferencing.
The following people’s journeys will be shared:
In 2011 Jacob Dunne fatally punched a man in an unprovoked attack. As a result he received a two-and-a-half-year custodial sentence for manslaughter of which he served 14 months. On leaving prison Jacob found himself homeless, unemployed and struggling to get his life back on track. With the encouragement of his victim’s parents, he endeavoured to get his life back on track.
28-year-old trainee paramedic, James Hodgkinson, was killed in 2011 from a single punch to his head. He had been out in Nottingham with his father, brother and three friends after watching a cricket match. His attacker pleaded guilty and served 13 months in prison for manslaughter. Later James’ mother, Joan Scourfield, met the attacker through restorative justice.
In 2005 Mary Foley’s 15-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was murdered during a birthday party in East London. In February 2006, 18-year-old Beatriz Martins-Paes received a life sentence for the unprovoked attack. A year later, Mary received a letter from Beatriz.
- Written story and film here
Peter Woolf was a career criminal and heroin addict when in March 2002 he broke into the home of businessman, Will Riley. As a result Peter received a three year prison sentence. Sometime after the attack, Will was asked if he would like to meet Peter at a Restorative Justice conference.
- Written story and film here
Shad Ali, an ex-social worker, is a British Pakistani who has lived and worked in Nottingham all his life. In July 2008 he was attacked when he came to the rescue of two Pakistani women who were being racially abused by a passing pedestrian. Six years later Shad met his attacker at a face-to-face restorative justice meeting.
- Written story and film here.
As well as this work inside, we’ll be sharing these stories across social media throughout the week so please help us share them and raise awareness of the power and potential of this powerful work. 85% of victims/survivors who go through RJ are satisfied with the experience and reduces the frequency of reoffending by 14%.