Justice Minister Naomi Long today launched a consultation for a proposed Adult Restorative Justice Strategy.
The consultation will consider the development of a strategic approach to restorative practices at all stages of the criminal justice system, from early intervention in the community, formal diversion by statutory agencies, court-ordered disposals, custody and reintegration.
Naomi Long said: “The use of restorative justice provides an opportunity to focus on repairing harm and minimising the impact of offending on victims as well as finding positive ways of dealing with children, young people and adults.
“In recent years this has increased significantly and there is now a real need for an Adult Restorative Justice Strategy. This will place victims front and centre and develop appropriate structures and opportunities to allow them to be involved, whether directly or indirectly, in the justice system and in decisions which affect them.
“The strategy would also engage and challenge offenders on their actions and help improve outcomes for all those affected by offending behaviour, whether victims, offenders, families or communities.”
The consultation document has been developed in partnership with the Public Prosecution Service (PPS), Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Northern Ireland Probation Board (NIPB), Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS), Victim Support, Community Restorative Justice Ireland, and, Northern Ireland Alternatives.
Notes to editors:
- The development of restorative justice in Northern Ireland began in the mid- to late-1990s as a result of research and consultation with local communities in North and West Belfast, leading to the establishment of two groups - Northern Ireland Alternatives (NIA) and Community Restorative Justice Ireland (CRJI).
- Further information on this consultation, including the full consultation document and ways to respond, can be found on the Department’s website at: Justice-ni/consultations
- Alternatively you can respond using the online facility on Citizen Space on the NI Direct website
- The deadline for response is Friday 11th September 2020.
- Media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office, 028 9052 6444.
- The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted out of hours on 028 9037 8110.
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