Community Restorative Justice has had something of a rough ride in the media recently. Whilst Erwin James has a positive take on an apparently successful technique called Youth Conferencing used by the Youth Justice Agency. Yet controversy continues to revolve around the public funding, administration and monitoring of an independent network of CRJ schemes, which have developed out of . The most recent chapter arises from a recommendation from the British government that would allow ex-prisoners to continue to play a role (subs needed) in the adminstration of such schemes. As Eileen Caulder told BBC Newsnight last year, there is already “confusion as to who individuals actually represent, saying some are believed to have triple membership of Sinn Fein, IRA and CRJ”.Mark Durkan, drawing on his party’s long standing objections to what it argues is the practical default of minimum standards implicit in the British proposals, citing:
“…the case of Belfast-man Jeff Commander, who was “savagely attacked in September last year because he was a friend of the late Robert McCartney and supported his family’s campaign for justice”. Mr Durkan claimed that a senior member of Community Restorative Justice had witnessed the attack on Mr Commander but so far failed to give “a full and truthful statement to the police”, as he is obliged to do by law.
More from Slugger on CRJ here.