A Restorative Approach to Justice and Fairness in Prisons

Monday 24th February 2020

The Howard League recently launched a new programme, Justice and Fairness in Prisons. Their most recent research briefing,  "Justice does not stop at the prison gate", looks at how a shift in prison culture, including the use of restorative approaches, could help to make prisons safer for everyone.

In the briefing, The Howard League explains how restorative approaches can improve prisoners' experience of prison, as well as their rehabilitation after completing their sentence. They say: "Restorative approaches to resolving conflict empower people in prisons and prepare them for their return to the community."

Restorative Solutions contributed towards the research paper, by developing and running the Restorative Prisons pilot in three prisons (Buckley Hall, Featherstone and Peterborough), from 2016 to 2017. Through the results of this pilot and The Howard League's research, they suggest the following:

"We recommend that restorative approaches replace punitive disciplinary processes. When restorative approaches are used effectively, additional punishment should not be necessary."

To reduce violence and conflict in prisons, The Howard League recommends that prison governors and policy-makers take urgent steps - including a commitment to restorative approaches - to make prisons fairer and safer places. A fairer and more just prison system would improve outcomes not only for those who live and work in prisons, but also for communities and our country. We were proud to be involved in the research briefing by The Howard League, and are delighted to see that the use of restorative approaches in prisons is being considered.

You can read the full research briefing from The Howard League here.  

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