“The organisation that deals with restorative justice in the area..”

As the CTI funding is withdrawn, and 8 men arrested in a planned police operation in connection with “dissident republican activity”, there’s a report here which raises a couple of questions. From the report

In Poleglass in west Belfast, six masked and armed men broke into a house held a gun to the owner`s head and told him to leave within 48 hours. But the man they had attacked was not the man they were after. The victim though was left severely traumatised. The man the gang were after had lived there, but had since moved. A second threat against the man then emerged. He would not be interviewed today but rejected the gang`s claim he is a police informer.

The organisation that deals with restorative justice in the area, Colin Community Restorative Justice, says it has contacted paramilitary groups who deny involvement and has offered to mediate with the criminal gang it says is involved. Police have confirmed there are death threats and that the man the gang were after, who is married with two children, has now fled the area.

Those questions would be – Which paramilitary groups were contacted? And has this RJ organisation actually read the guidelines? Because mediating in this particular case would seem to be well outside their remit.

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  • Nevin

    Pete, if Colin CRJ isn’t accredited then surely the protocols don’t apply.

  • Pete Baker

    If they hope to be accredited, Nevin, they need to be keeping to those protocols already.

  • Nevin

    Very true, Pete. Do you know if the accredited list has grown beyond four? Perhaps one of the SF contributors could indicate whether or not SF is actively promoting accreditation.

  • sms

    so pete would you would rather have them stick to the protocols than prevent some poor chap from getting shot in the head ?

  • veritas

    RJ was sf alternative to policing-is it still?

  • UFB

    “RJ was sf alternative to policing”

    That’s not true Veritas. Approximately two/three years ago the current Education Minister said in an interview with the Newry Democrat that SF would encourage the establishment of CRJ schemes as an alternative to policing.

    An individual viewpoint which dosen’t mean that the CRJ concept was an SF alternative to policing.

    CRJ were established as an,[SF endorsed], community alternative to so called punishment beatings.

  • veritas

    she did not say she would ,she said sinn fein would-doen’t sound like a personal -if the party is going to do it.she was not the only prominent member to make such a statement.

  • Pete Baker


    I doubt the list has grown beyond those noted then.


    Yeah. Of course that’s what I’d rather happen.

    [off sarcasm]

  • UFB

    If she expresses an opinion, in her capacity as a party representative, it still dosen’t equate to
    CRJ being a “SF alternative to policing” it merely reflects her views as a representative.

    Could you provide a link[s] as to other prominant members of SF who have claimed CRJ are a SF alternative to policing?.

    Genuine question, I’m honestly unaware of such claims.

  • veritas

    In your own words she stated that” sf would encourage the establishment of crj schemes as an alternative to policing”.She was the party spokesperson on human rights at the time.Davy Hyland in his election literature said that crj was an alternative to policing. cllr Jarlath McNulty said the same (strabane chronicle october 2005)Im not exactly much good at links-i am still trying just to get to grips with typing.

  • veritas

    I am talking aboutwhen davy was a sinn fein candidate.

  • Nevin

    “community alternative to so called punishment beatings.”

    UFB, I understood that CRJ and more vigorous forms of ‘enforcement’ were both parts of the ‘civic justice’ system practised by various paramilitary organisations.

  • Damian O’Loan

    UFB – For examples of SF members describing RJ as an alternative to policing, see the SDLP submission to the consultation that led to the protocol. It should be available on the Assembly website. It was comprehensively ignored, but is a fine piece of work that could have led to RJ becoming something of value.

    However, since the protocol explicitly forbids this approach, though without means to enforce such opposition, SF members should now know to be careful with their language at least.

    SF’s commitment to one justice system, under the British government, is difficult to reconcile with these kinds of stories. Perhaps they’re having trouble bringing along the grassroots. Perhaps they intend to keep control of their areas, and because they’re mostly working class, that’s fine with the establishment.

    What this whole episode shows is that human rights are enforced on the basis of expediency. That SF rhetoric on human rights is as shallow as the British governments (see recent oposition to EU charter in negociations on the EU treaty.)

    It takes a lot to make me want to post on here, NI has enough opinions and doesn’t need mine. But this I find sickening – shady deals round St Andrews where the Brits and SF pawn off those without the means to represent their own interests, and who have suffered quite enough during the last few decades. If the former activists/terrorists, whatever you would call them, of the Republican movement needed to be looked after as part of our peace deal, isn’t there a way to do so that doesn’t mean the working class pay the price?

    Its the same deal on both sides of the divide. How do you unite the most bitter enemies? Govern like its Jim Crow days, and shaft the poor people. History serves the Brits well it seems, and us too blind or stupid to see what’s happening, to stop the most obvious tragedies that are certain to occur. This is among the most cynical aspects of our ‘new dispensation.’ I’m not of the working class – but I can still call it as it is. Time will back up my words.

  • UFB


    The I dound the SDLP’s consultation paper on CRJ and the only factual proof that they proffer to support their otherwise seemingly baseless allegations is the aforementioned current Education Minister’s comments, some vague report in the Strabane Chronicle stating:

    “Sinn Fein are working along with the CRJ project in Derry with the aim of developing a wider debate on the viability of developing such a [community restorative justice] project within the Strabane area. The development of such a project is not dependent upon an acceptance of corrupt policing structures and nor can it be.”

    Strabane Chronicle, October 2005

    Regarding Davy Highland it supposedly stated in one of Highland’s 2003 election pamphlets:

    [That he] “successfully completed a course in Community Restorative Justice, a widely accepted alternative policing system.”

    Hardly conclusive evidence to verify SDLP claims that community restorative justice groups [are] linked to Sinn Féin?

  • Useless with links

    The Criminal Justice Inspectorate has this week announced the outcome of an inspection of CRJI schemes. See http://www.cjini.org

  • Useless with links

    Sorry folks, the exact link to the full report is;


    I haven’t read it, but commenters didn’t seem to be aware this was in the public domain.

  • Pete Baker

    Thank for the link to the full report.

    There is already an update to this post referring to that report here