Resolve and Repair

Information for YOT Supervising Officers and Panel Members
on referring cases to “Resolve and Repair (taken from 2007 leaflet)

1) Who we are
2) What we offer
3) Principles of arranging victim-offender meetings
4) Remorse
5) Victim Issues
6) Informed choice by all
7) How you can refer cases
8) Court Reports
9) Handing over the baton

From Bristol Mediation's Annual Report -October 2006:

Resolve and Repair project –the first year

It has been an exciting first year for this project. In partnership with Bristol Youth Offending Team (YOT), we have been providing a victim-offender mediation service alongside the criminal justice system. We started working with case  referrals from children’s homes and have widened the remit in response to include those victims of other youth offenders who have expressed to the victim-liaison officer a wish for victim-offender mediation. Cases have varied from assault and criminal damage in childrens homes to burglary and reckless driving in the victim-liaison referred cases.

Six Bristol Mediators and Stuart from the YOT undertook additional training last summer, with additional “nonviolent communication” training with Marshall Rosenberg in May. We began by strictly co-working each case, and we maintain this practice when we come to face-to-face mediations.

These mediations bring the parties into a space where they experience a new kind of openness and respect:
-young people value the opportunity to be heard without interruption
-staff from childrens’ homes are more fully understood as human beings rather than just as staff)
-agreements are usually reached ‘to put right’ some of the harm caused.
-the youth court have received reports on the restorative work of the Resolve and Repair project and have hailed our work as ‘best practice’.

The environments in which the team (Gay, Lindy, Marian, May, Paul Crosland, Paul W and Stuart) have been working is sometimes challenging. There can be difficulty in communicating that we are offering a choice that involves a perpetrator taking responsibility for their actions. Some are not ready to take responsibility; they expect to be ‘processed’ by the system and the point comes where we refer them back to usual criminal justice processes.

At the top of our case review forms that we use, is the following reminder:


“Practice Reminder: Restorative Meetings are appropriate when:
  1. The offender has come to accept (at least some) responsibility for the harm caused & is willing to participate in the process;
  2. The victim has been through a process of identifying how it might be useful for themselves (or the perpetrator) and wants to go ahead.
  3. The safety and preparedness issues for all parties have been realistically addressed.”

If not, there is still much scope for indirect mediation.”

Some victims have come up with innovative ways in which they have wanted responsibility to be taken. Recognising the difficulty one young person had in seeing his pattern of behaviour, the staff member who had been the victim of an assault thought the most useful preparation the young person could do for a mediation was to draw a story-board of what had happened leading up to and including the assault. There was much learning here for the 11 year-old, the youngest of the client group in the 38 cases we have worked on in the first year.
Another victim (of a burglary of his workplace) followed a mediation by offering to recommend one of the offenders to begin a training course to work in his line of work.

There is talk of the project being extended in terms of working on some of the tensions and offending behaviour that occurs within the foster-placement settings in Bristol.

We are, of course, continually working on the three essentials of running a successful mediation service:
       1) to raise the quality and range of services provided
       2) to secure more referrals and
       3) to generate funding for continued development of the project.

We look forward to another year in which these all flourish.

Paul Crosland

Information for YOT Supervising Officers and Panel Members
on referring cases to “Resolve and Repair”

1) Who we are
2) What we offer
3) Principles of arranging victim-offender meetings
4) Remorse
5) Victim Issues
6) Informed choice by all
7) How you can refer cases
8) Court Reports
9) Handing over the baton

(Resolve and Repair Annual Report)

www.bristol-mediation.org

Email: casework@bristol-mediation.org