Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals
The “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” (RJE) is a transnational project that will run for 24 months and will facilitate the implementation of the proposed Directives on Minimum Standards of Victims (particularly Articles 11 and 24) and Protection Measures.
RJE will be led by the European-wide, UK-based think-tank Indepe Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) and supervised by Professor Dr. Theo Gavrielides. RJE will be delivered in 5 participating countries through a partnership of 5 organisations: the Institute of Conflict Resolution (Bulgaria), the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration Bremen (Germany), Restorative Justice Netherlands (the Netherlands) and the European Public Law Organisation (Greece).
RJE will also be supported by 11 Associate Partners who are experts in the area of victims and restorative justice (RJ): the University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Restorative Thinking (UK), the Register of Restorative Practitioners (UK), Restorative Justice International (USA), the Forgiveness Project (UK), G4S – HM Prison Altcourse (UK), the European Forum for Restorative Justice (Belgium), the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University (Canada), Prof. Gerry Johnstone (UK), Foresee (Hungary) and Ulster University (Northern Ireland).
RJE’s general objective is to produce scientific and practical results that will be directly used by decision makers, policy makers and practitioners in their national implementation of the proposed two EU Directives. The produced material will be evidence-based, and will reflect the needs and wishes of victims and professionals.
RJE's scientific and practical results will be written in English, Bulgarian, German, Dutch, Hungarian and Greek. In particular, RJE will create an evidence base that will be used to:
- develop, pilot and implement protocols and guidelines for providing RJ in the interest of the victim and the offender with the aim of improving victims' safeguards in RJ services, and the consistent implementation of minimum standards throughout Europe
- develop, pilot and implement training materials and programmes for professionals (e.g. prison and probation staff, police, prosecutors, victim support workers) with the aim of improving their skills and knowledge on how they treat and interact with victims
- develop, pilot and implement best practice guidance that will enhance multi-agency, cross-sector cooperation among RJ/ victim services and national agencies with the aim of minimising the risks of secondary and repeat victimisation when interacting with victims.
RJE will pay particular attention to:
- vulnerable victims due to their age
- victims’ families
- risky environments where RJ is implemented (e.g. secure estate).
RJE will also build on the findings of the EU funded project Mediation and Restorative Justice in Prison Settings.
RJE's activities are organised into 5 workstreams (WK) following a clear and methodological order:
- WK 1 (Review & Theoretical Development) will look at existing evidence from the 6 participating countries and internationally.
- WK 2 (Fieldwork) will conduct action research in the participating countries with victims, offenders and professionals to collect new knowledge.
- WK 3 (Production) will use the evidence base from WK 1&2 to produce Protocols and Guidelines for victims’ safeguards, Training Programmes for professionals and Best Practice Guidance for multi-agency cooperation.
- WK 4 (Pilot & Implementation) will pilot the Protocols/Guidelines/Training Programmes/Best Practice Guidance in various institutions and contexts in the participating countries (e.g. in prisons, police, probation, the community).
- WK 5 (Dissemination – Cooperation – Awareness Raising) will disseminate widely RJE's scientific and practical results. Actions will be taken for their wider implementation across Europe.