The Legal system – Restorative Practice.

Restorative Practice is in my opinion the best way of preventing reoffending in most cases.

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Restorative Practice

At school, as a Head of Year, Deputy Head and Headteacher, I used Restorative Practice to solve incidents. It is a philosophy which is efficient and highly effective.

You bring together the parties concerned and establish what has happened. This is often achieved through questioning but may require witness statements or further investigation. Once the facts have been established the people involved are confronted with their actions, the consequences on others and guided through what they should have done. Then suitable punishments are ascribed. I always asked both parties what they thought the punishment should be.

This is what I found:

  1. It was relatively easy to establish what had taken place
  2. Once confronted with evidence the guilty party invariably admitted their guilt
  3. Rarely was it one sided – there were mistakes made by all parties to one degree or another
  4. The punishments selected by the victims were usually…

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4 thoughts on “The Legal system – Restorative Practice.

    • It doesn’t work in all cases and it needs careful monitoring and follow-up. If carried out properly it is very effective though. In my school, according to student surveys, it reduced bullying to a very low level and altered the atmosphere of the school. In my experience most people have a conscience.
      The psychopaths need treatment.

    • But I think they do Cheryl. I always used to say at school that all human behaviour is learnt. People do things for a reason. What is learnt can be unlearnt. Find the reason for the behaviour and fix it. Our job at school, in the behaviour unit, was to fix broken kids. Given the experience some of them have that was quite an ask, but with time, love and care it was possible. Everyone has a conscience. It is just that some have been dreadfully hurt or are extremely needy or psychologically ill – their extreme behaviour was sometimes beyond us. But those were a tiny minority. The effect in the school was palpable. We achieved things with the tough nuts and hard cases that was well beyond normal. It transformed the school.

  1. It didn’t work for our son at high school. His bullies went underground and continued to taunt him right till the end. He was outraged that I had contacted the school and told me what would happen. Of course I couldn’t leave it as some of what happened was dangerous. The process they followed was much as you described.
    Also it will only work, as Calen says, for those with a conscience. Psychopaths don’t care who they hurt as long as they get what they want.

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