Sunday, 13 December 2015


From a week or two ago:-

The Justice Select Committee has decided to hold an inquiry into restorative justice. The Committee welcomes views on any aspects of the current and potential use of restorative justice in the criminal justice system.

Does anyone have any update on how the Pre-sentence RJ Pathfinder Programme is going? Pilot areas were to be: Cardiff, Bristol, Truro, Wood Green, Croydon, Manchester, Preston, Lincoln + 2 more. From memory, the pathfinder was going to use volunteers to facilitate restorative justice pre-sentence and then prepare a report (pre sentence) to the Court who will decide on sentencing.

If Probation Officers are to be removed from all Magistrates' Courts (is this what the plan is with E3?) then what is to say that RJ volunteers won't replace PSOs? Would it be beneficial for Probation Institute and/or NAPO to contribute to the Justice Select Committee inquiry making it clear that whilst RJ has it's place it should not replace PSRs?

Do you work for the Probation Institute or Napo? I'm sure I read somewhere that the PI was to volunteer a written submission to the committee. The PI and Napo could instead start supporting probation by condemning E3 and its diluting of probation practice. It's time to speak up for the professional role of the qualified probation officer. The problem is the PI is unable to speak against TR and E3, and Napo's "press officer" has gone missing.


  1. The House of Commons Justice Select Committee has launched an inquiry on restorative justice.
    The committee is seeking evidence on any aspect of the use or potential use of restorative justice in the criminal justice system.

    The deadline for submitting written evidence is 31 January 2016.

    Probation involvement in RJ initiatives will die a death alongside SEEDS, End to End offender management, mental health diversions panels, etc, and soon to be joined by Pre Sentence Reports and probably victim liaison, programmes, approved premises and MAPPA in the near future. And yes, if we had any good representatives (unions, professional associations, etc) they'd be all over this. Alas, we don't !

  2. My experience is that there remains a lot of suspicion about probation staff being involved in the delivery of RJ, as some people continue to see us as being "on the offender's side" (although there appears to be much less scepticism about organisations such as Victim Support going the other way). This is despite the long history of victim work within the probation field, and the fact that the skills set needed to be an RJ facilitator matches very well with that possessed by probation staff.

    The pathfinders were a well-intentioned project but I know at least one of those areas struggled to find suitable cases because it was limited to pre-sentence work. It is surely a mistake to focus on the pre-sentence stage to the exclusion of offering RJ at other times, given that it may take a victim many months (or years) to be in a position where they want to take part.

  3. Whatever happened to the take up of RJ being a completely separate process to sentence? Surely this will devalue the process as clients opt in before sentence and then have a change of heart? Or will this be forced by threats of breach? A dogs dinner, if ever I saw one!

  4. With apologies to blog-thread purists:

    I hope Dave & George are happy with the antics of their new best friends in China, i.e. annexing international waters & airspace in the South China Sea, building illegal military installations, employing plain clothes thugs to assault journalists & diplomats; just can't wait for the UK's assets & security to be placed in their care. Blair may have been Bush's lapdog, but Dave & George are about to be publicly unveiled as the Gimp Twins.