Restorative Justice at Work

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Teen lawbreakers are benefiting from a restorative justice program, required by law in Northern Ireland.  Dr. Graham Ellison, a criminologist, told Here and Now on Public Radio International how the program is working.

Courts in Northern Ireland must provide kids with a restorative justice option through the Youth Conferencing Service as an alternative to prison, Dr. Ellison explained. According to the Youth Conferencing Service, kids meet with their victims, make amends and get any treatment they need.

A teen graduate of the program, who stole a car, spoke to the BBC about meeting his victim.

"All she done was cry, and talked about how she doesn't feel safe in her home," he said. "And when I walked out of there, I said to myself — what have I done?"

For more information:

Youth Conferencing Service

Public Radio International

BBC Northern Ireland

Criminal Justice

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