On the human limits of Restorative Justice…

Rachel from North London makes a passionate advocacy of Restorative Justice, arguing that it “is much more like the way humans naturally resolve their differences and communicate with each other”. She praises work being done in Northern Ireland but believes that in some specific cases, like where there is no genuine remorse, it just won’t work. She cites the example of her own disturbing case at length. H/T to the ‘always-on’ CS!


  • David

    Surely nobody would believe that the whole restorative justice idea should be thrown out because it will not work in some cases. The schemes can compliment policing, never replace it. The main flaw at the moment is that schemes in Loyalist areas are being held back by the government because republicans have not signed up to support policing. Effectively the government has given republicans a veto on community development in Loyalist areas.

  • * Thirty-eight Republican Prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol.
    * “Controlled movement” is imposed on Republican landings with only three prisoners permitted out of their cells on the landing at any one time with each prisoner accompanied by two prison officers. Free Association on landings completely removed.
    * Legislation introduced by British government following the Good Friday Agreement removed the right of Republican prisoners to organise themselves on their own landings and removed the right of Republican prisoners to spend their time in prison constructively.
    * Prisoners made to chose between daily exercise or education. Prisoners denied educational facilities to enable them to organise their own education.
    * Easter lilies banned in the prison. Other Republican handicrafts confiscated and destroyed by prison officers.
    * PSNI/RUC approval required before prisoners permitted on Republican landing.
    * Republican prisoners’ parole entitlement has been reduced to half that of other prisoners.
    * Denial of compassionate paroles for family and religious occasions. Parole for funerals of immediate family members often restricted to 6 hours or less.
    * Constant use of strip searching to humiliate prisoners contrary to international law. One prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches in a six month period.
    * Prisoners locked in their cells for alternately 21/23 hours per day.
    * Abuse of the sniffer dogs in an attempt to criminalise political prisoners. Families and prisoners are wrongly accused of smuggling drugs into the prison. Familes are forced to have closed family visits which take place through Perspex screen while prisoners returning from parole are placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours.
    * Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits.
    * The power of the Governor to punish a prisoner by taking away remission was reintroduced specifically for Republican prisoners after it was banned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002.
    * Access to a doctor available only once a week.
    * Interference with correspondence.
    * Irish language and cultural items including handicrafts made relating to hunger strikes confiscated or destroyed by prison officers.


    The Republican Prisoners Action Group will hold a white line pickrt/protest and public information meeting in Dungannon, Tyrone on Saturday the 18th of November assemble in Ann Street at 1.30pm followed by a public information meeting.

    Main Speakers:

    Former Tyrone Hunger Striker Tommy McKearney (Fourthwrite)

    Richard Walsh.(Republican Sinn Fein)

    Organised by the Tyrone branch of the Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG)


  • ciaran

    David, I dunno if you are aware of this, but SS/RUC was created to subjucate those Of an Irish culture who lived in an Orange garden of
    den of Eden. Do you ever think about those 60 odd years during which the free State was subsibized (military was police service as distinc from a police serviDo you really think that RUC ‘people’b are trustedn by Irish people….then suddenly I re=read the post of the simple orangie kid. I feel guilty. the kid’s brainwashed. What’s more Orange savages are brainwashed. Perhaps at some time they”ll see the sense behind reunification. Jeez it’s great to see a maggot like Paisley finally admit that he is a loser.

    It is comforting that an antiuqated preacher is biging to see tha light. One can only hope that his underbosses in UDA and DUP will follow.

  • ciaran damery

    The concept of Restorative justice’ is generally effective because it allows people who got the short end of the stick (in this case a Unionist militia designed to subjucagte the Irish ppeople in those six coubnties) to police their own communities. In situations where SS/RUC are perceived as enemy combatants. obviously Irish people turn to Oglaigh na hEireann. Incidentaly this is neither unique in Ireland or in other colonies.

    Finally, the fact is that SS/RUC have undergone a mere cosmetic facelift. They remain Unionist5 fascist. The Irish Peace Process and eire
    Nua is contigent on Disbandment.
    The alternative is war..perhaps not quiet LLoyd George understood way back when.

  • aquifer

    The ritual of court cases and the support of lawyers, and for some the help of an entire infrastructure of fellow outlaws, lets many avoid taking emotional responsibility for their actions.

    Sometimes they are helped to accepting the reality of their offending against societal norms by contact with their victims, but for others who are unfit for freedom with their fellow humans, or whose freedom is a strong affront to their past and potential victims, a long reflection must be granted.

    They are then free to waste it in anger.

  • DK

    Cairan D,

    Is CRJ run by “Oglaigh na hEireann” – I never knew that. Surely the one one the Shankill isn’t!

    Also, you want war unless the PSNI are disbanded. Does that include the new catholic recruits?

    I think you are 30 years too late for all this enthusiasm. Why not do something constructive, like raise money for charity – you’ll find it’s better than war.

  • BogExile

    ‘What’s more Orange savages are brainwashed.’


    Please, please never censor any of Ciaran Damery – it reminds us of:

    1) The benefits of anti-psychotic medication
    2) The advantage of having had any sexual experience with anything with a pulse
    3) The fact that headbanging is not the sole province of the Loyalist ‘outer limits.’
    4) How despite my infinite prejudices and shortccomings, I’m not such a bad human being after all.
    5) The literal limits of monkeys and typewriters
    6) The biological consequences of splicing a fruit bat with the DNA of Dominic McGlinchey


  • papa yamayama

    I enjoyed
    “Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits”

    forgetting to add that
    ” Family visitors exposed to Republican visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Republicans going to and from legal visits”

    we can only look in awe at the revolutionary spirit of these gifted young men.

    CRJ would go down a storm in England, anyone offering to kneecap young teenagers would be a public hero in today’s climate.

    “were daad mate ge’us yer gear !”
    “oh and your skins as well there kid”

    it sure worked for me.