A Restorative Approach to Justice and Fairness in Prisons

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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What people say about Restorative Solutions

I'm so glad I am working with RJ. I don't know who would listen to me if it wasn’t for you.
A Person Harmed by Crime
RJ is very underrated and I certainly think we should be using it more.
A Professional who Referred Someone into our Service
Very satisfied – it’s been a great service. A worthwhile process for me and I hope for the offenders. Staff have been great and I would like to thank them.
A victim
It was the right thing to do. Both victims told me to let go of what happened. I didn't want to hear it but they both forgave me and said I should move on. I have taken that on and thought about it and I have come to terms with what happened. You've helped me significantly. It's as though my head has been lifted of a gigantic weight.
An Offender
Thanks for your time today. I feel like you understand R so well, I really hope you can help him to learn how to be happy.
Feedback from a family in East Kent
Restorative Justice offers a unique opportunity for victims and survivors to move on from and overcome the trauma that can be left with them after experiencing crime. I am exceedingly proud of the work that the team at Restorative Solutions do in supporting our community. We should always consider the needs of victims of crime and this service exemplifies that sentiment and allows so many to put behind them what can be the worst experience of their lives.
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

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