The following have previously won one of the Community Awards from the Howard League for their Restorative Justice practice.
Winner: Integration of Partnership Restorative Justice Interventions Both Pre and Post Court, Darlington Youth Offending Services
Winner: Neighbourhood Resolution Panel Bradford, West Yorkshire Probation Community Rehabilitation Company
Runner up: Safe Durham Partnership Integrated Restorative Practice, Safe Durham Partnership
Runner up: Restorative Justice Service, Sacro
2015 Restorative Justice category
Winner: Surrey Youth Restorative Intervention, Surrey Youth Support Service and Surrey Police
The Youth Restorative Intervention (YRI) was initiated by Surrey’s Criminal Justice Board in 2011. It is run jointly by Surrey Police and Surrey County Council’s Youth Support Service. It is a pre-court disposal and an alternative to the youth caution /conditional caution and prosecution. With a few exceptions it is the default disposal for young people who are under the age of 18 and admit an offence. The intention of the programme is to prevent reoffending; to repair harm to victims; improve their satisfaction with the criminal justice system and to provide better value for money in the youth justice system. Overall, the initiative seeks to improve the experience of the criminal justice system for all: the victim, the offender, their families and the wider community. Independent external evaluation has demonstrated that the YRI has saved £3 for every £1 spent, it has very high rates of victim satisfaction (85-90%), it has reduced re-offending by 18% and prevented thousands of young people receiving a criminal conviction.
Runner up: Homicide and Serious/Complex Case RJ Team, REMEDI
REMEDI, a voluntary sector organisation has been facilitating RJ services and training since 1996. It has operational bases in 11 counties, 91 employed staff. A dedicated pool of 20 trained and experienced RJ facilitators comprise our Homicide and Serious/Complex Case Team. This pool of highly experienced RJ facilitators are utilised in supporting victims and victim families in murder, manslaughter, death by dangerous driving, rape and sexual assault cases where victims wish to engage with a restorative justice process.
- 5 Victims of rape (juvenile offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 15 Victims of rape committed (adult offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 21 Victims of sexual assault (juvenile offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 15 Victims of sexual assault (adult offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 6 Victim’s family members of murder/manslaughter/death by dangerous driving (juvenile offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 82 Victim’s family members of murder/manslaughter/death by dangerous driving (adult offender) have taken part in a restorative process
- 144 victims/victim family members of the most serious offences have accessed Restorative Justice.
Criminal Justice Champion 2015
Runner up: Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan, Greater Manchester Police
Garry’s passion for justice, fairness, resolution and restoration has led him to lead a number of key work streams both nationally and within Greater Manchester Police to achieve significant change in the way the system deals with anti-social behaviour and low-level crime.
Garry is the GMP and National Lead for Restorative Justice and has pioneered a number of initiatives to help divert offenders away from the criminal justice system. In line with Garry’s vision of a restorative society, restorative justice is now fully embedded within the working practices of GMP. He has been instrumental in ensuring that victims have their voice heard and are able to meet with offenders to tell them exactly how they have been affected by a crime, both of which have resulted in a significant reduction in reoffending rates within GMP.
Garry has challenged GMP to reduce its numbers of remanded young people, looking at internal process around times of arrest, early bail decisions and working with the local authorities to explore bail options. This has reduced numbers by nearly 50 per cent. Knowing the negative impact on health and wellbeing that custody has on young people, it is believed this approach will significantly reduce the health risk to them.
Restorative approaches category 2016
Police/Youth Engagement Forums
Restorative Engagement Forum
This is a nationwide project which brings together groups of police officers with teenagers to look at improving their relationship. Each session has approximately 25-30 participants. It is responding to the Government Paper “It’s All About Trust.” Young people are selected from a wide range of places – youth clubs, youth offending teams, pupil referral units and schools. The outcomes are fantastic, where young people have found a profound shift in attitudes, improved community relations as well as developing skills for conflict resolution.
Officers describe the work in the following way:
“Life-changing, one of the 3 most important days of my policing career.”
“I want to tell you much of an affect the forum had on me, it helped me loads & helped my confidence a lot. Prior to last year I’d have had a knot in my stomach if I had to deal with kids but now I feel a lot more confident – so now I won’t just deal with the adults if I’m called out – I’ll make an effort to catch up with the kids and find out their views. It was hearing it from their perspective and them hearing ours – it made such a difference.”
Restorative Justice Hub
Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner are committed to delivering effective interventions. The introduction of Community Resolutions and latterly the Restorative Justice (RJ) “virtual” hub are key deliverables to identify the underlying causes of criminality and to put in place measures which address these influencing factors, at the earliest possible stages.
Restorative approaches to address early offending were introduced into the constabulary in 2010, through the introduction of Community Resolutions. The offence is seen as the symptom of underlying issues and acts as the trigger to address both. The aims are simple and provide the victim an opportunity to receive an apology, reparation and discuss the impact of the act on both themselves and others. For the offender the objective is equally simple; to address underlying causes of criminality to enable an individual to acknowledge the impact and to re-establish themselves within the community.
The RJ hub aims to provide a referral and co-ordination mechanism for the police, other partners, victims and offenders, to access formal RJ. The hub has found significant benefits for victims even where the offender remains unknown. This is attributed to the assessment process, which seeks to identify emotions associated with the crime and signpost for ongoing support.
Organisation of the year 2016
Winner: REMEDI Restorative Services
2016 marks Remedi’s 20th Anniversary. Remedi started in 1996 as one person working from an office that was a converted toilet in Sheffield. We now have 100 staff, 200 volunteers and 100 sessional workers delivering services across England.
Since our inception as a restorative justice service provider we have expanded services to include:
RJ across ALL offences and ALL sentences in the youth and adult criminal justice arena in the 7 counties in which we currently work
We are the national contracted provider for RJ by the Homicide Service funded by the MoJ
Mentoring support services for youth and adult offenders both at the early intervention/prevention stage and for those identified as ‘prolific and priority’ offenders.
Victim Services (formerly Victim Support services) providing generic support for victims of crime
Schools based restorative projects- taking restorative approaches to conflicts in and around schools
Looked After Children restorative services preventing young people from unnecessarily entering the criminal justice system
Family mediation and family group conferencing services
Community restorative justice projects to address neighbour dispute and anti-social behaviour.
Since we started and up to April 2016 we have directly supported 147,932 people.
Restorative approaches category 2017
Commendation: The Skill Mill
The primary objective of The Skill Mill is to reduce re-offending whilst giving participants real work experience and provide skills to help them gain further employment in the future. It is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up in Newcastle, in 2013 and now operating in Leeds (2015), Liverpool (2016), Durham and North Yorkshire (2017). 8 further Skill Mill teams are proposed for 2018.
The Skill Mill requires cooperation between local and central government, the private sector and VCS organisations to provide job opportunities for NEET ex young offenders aged 16 – 24, targeting those with more prolific criminal histories and in particular those who have served prison sentences.
Through an employment contract with the Skill Mill, the young people are given the opportunity of a paid job and offered training in environmental maintenance work including, small-scale landscaping works, horticultural services and general tidying of public spaces. The work is fully supervised by a competent Team Leader typically seconded from the Youth Offending Service.
Every young person who completes six month’s employment with The Skill Mill is then offered a ‘next step’ job with one of the partners of the programme or transition into the wider labour market.
Policing and children category 2017
Winner: Divert, Youth Justice Services
Cheshire East, Cheshire West, Halton and Warrington
The DIVERT strapline is ‘Prevention is better than Court’. Divert avoids the unnecessary criminalisation of children through assessment of underlying (often unmet) needs and diversion into alternative intervention or treatment.
Designed and delivered by the Youth Justice Service in Cheshire on behalf of funding stakeholders including the NHS, the PCC and Cheshire’s four Local Authorities, Divert began as a purist liaison and diversion pilot project but has subsequently developed into a broader preventive and restorative project. The Divert manager provides a triaging service on all children aged 10-17 arrested by the police for less serious offences (gravity scores 1-3) and determines which children and young people should be diverted into the local authority ‘front door’ for a safeguarding response, and which should receive an assessment and intervention by the Divert team.
In 2017/18 Divert dealt with 603 referrals on children arrested by the police, completing assessments and making recommendations for disposals which helped avoid sanctions which could adversely affect their future prospects. Divert has contributed to a 50% decrease in first time entrants to the justice system the following year (evidenced by comparing the phasing in of Divert in different years for each Local Authority area in Cheshire).