A Restorative Justice toolkit developed with young people, for young people
We have recently developed a practical and engaging six-session prevention and intervention toolkit for young offenders and those at risk of offending: 'Restorative Thinking (with Odd Arts): A Restorative Justice Toolkit Developed with Young People, for Young People'.
This toolkit gives young people access to a full understanding of restorative justice in the criminal justice system, explaining how RJ 'looks and feels', identifying how each young person can engage with RJ to help resolve their own offence. The toolkit also equips young offenders and those at risk of offending with the skills, knowledge and understanding to adopt restorative approaches as a key life skill to manage daily challenges and conflicts, to become solution-focused problem solvers.
"I can see immediately how the toolkit will appeal to, and reach, young people, either as a prevention programme or an intervention tool. There is a real need for this toolkit and I can see how effective and useful it will be with youth justice colleagues." (Margaret Adams, Criminal Justice Consultant)
Outcomes for young people who engage with the programme:
- Greater victim satisfaction: greater take-up of RJ at request of victim/s.
- Young people understand the restorative process and the opportunities for involvement in RJ in the criminal justice system (supports the revised 'Code of Practice for Victims of Crime', 2013).
- Take-up of RJ by offenders, relating to their own crime/s, potentially increases.
- Young people acquire a key life skill in RJ approaches, able to support a reduction in re-offending.
- Young people have access to a restorative education, to resolve disputes and to support future choices.
- Familiarisation with restorative 'language' and concepts.
Delivered with small groups and 1:1, this new programme has been produced in collaboration with Odd Arts and young people at Sheffield YOS. Odd Arts uses specialist arts to challenge, inspire and transform the lives of vulnerable and excluded people.
A group of young people from Sheffield YOS delivered a hard-hitting performance to showcase their learning through the toolkit at this year's Youth Justice Convention in Birmingham in November
Restorative Thinking and Odd Arts have teamed up to design the programme which uses restorative justice approaches through a unique and engaging learning experience.
About our partner organisation:
Restorative Thinking specialises in restorative justice programmes and training, with wrap-around support for delivery staff in a variety of settings (prisons, probation trusts, YOTs, Schools, Children's Centres) and on-going evaluation with organisations to record the impact of our programmes and services. We bring together experts in the fields of restorative justice, criminal justice and education. We work in partnership with the Department for Education and the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
Outputs and outcomes include:
- Participants equipped with key life skills in restorative justice approaches, able to apply these to offending behaviour and daily challenges/conflicts.
- Engagement with our programme in criminal justice settings leads to an increase in the number of offenders contacting their victim/s to engage in restorative justice processes.
- Regional training courses throughout England and Wales to support effective delivery of our toolkits and programmes.
- Staff have a practical toolkit to support their delivery and implementation of restorative justice approaches.