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Mapping restorative justice and restorative practices in criminal justice in the Republic of Ireland

Published onMay 31, 2022
Mapping restorative justice and restorative practices in criminal justice in the Republic of Ireland
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Mapping restorative justice and restorative practices in criminal justice in the Republic of Ireland
Description

Restorative justice has been available in certain parts of the Republic of Ireland, and at some stages of the criminal justice process, for over two decades. Additionally, in recent years, many public- and third-sector practitioners working with offenders and victims have received training in restorative practices. However, there has never been a study mapping the use of restorative justice and practices across the country. This article analyses and contextualises the main findings from recent research that investigated the extent to which restorative justice and practices are used in Irish criminal justice. It outlines new data collected from agencies that seldom permit academic access to data, nor publish figures on these elements of their work. The findings suggest that restorative justice is used with several offence types, albeit mostly in relation to victimless offences (or otherwise in the absence of a direct victim), while accessibility remains low overall. At the same time, the growth in restorative practices training creates an opportunity to align occupational cultures with restorative principles. This study lays the groundwork for policies aiming to make restorative justice more accessible and embed a restorative culture in Irish criminal justice professions and agencies.

 

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