NI: Views sought on adult restorative justice strategy

NI: Views sought on adult restorative justice strategy

Naomi Long

A consultation on an adult restorative justice strategy for Northern Ireland has been launched today.

The Department of Justice is consulting on its plans to make restorative justice “second nature, not separate nature, within the criminal justice system and its accredited partner organisations”.

The consultation, to run until September, 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.

Justice Minister 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.

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