08 Mar 2011

Restorative justice policy and research too narrow, says report

Restorative justice

Restorative justice

A report released today by the independent think-tank, Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), has identified some key areas for improvement for restorative justice.

‘Drawing together research, policy and practice for restorative justice’ is the result of a joint seminar held in partnership with the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) at The Open University and argues that there is a need for a thorough cost-benefit analysis in order for restorative justice to be seen as a more cost effective approach to crime than imprisonment and penal punishment. The report also argues that the academic and research agenda on restorative justice is too narrow and there is a tendency to focus on matters of immediate policy and practical relevance. This can result in the political and cultural issues of restorative justice being a secondary focus, it says.

Dr. Theo Gavrielides, author of the report, Director of IARS and Visiting Senior Research Fellow at ICCCR (Open University), said: "This is the first of a series of seminars that aim to encourage a dialogue and consensus amongst practitioners, researchers and policy makers in the restorative justice movement. There is clear evidence of a relationship breakdown and at this critical point in time for restorative justice bridges must be built if the practice is to be rolled out".

The seminar brought together practitioners, researchers and policy makers in restorative justice to discuss gaps that they experienced in their effort to work together. It was attended by 45 experts in the restorative justice field including representatives from the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Youth Justice Board, academia and practice.

The report can be downloaded from the IARS website


Notes to editors

The seminar was funded by ICCCR at The Open University and IARS. IARS received a grant from the European Commission as part of the MEREPS programme. For more information on the events contact Dr Theo Gavrielides 020 8133 831

IARS: Independent Academic Research Studies

ICCCR: International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research
The International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR) is based in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University. The Centre is a unique multi-disciplinary and cross-faculty initiative drawing on expertise from Social Sciences (social policy & criminology, psychology and sociology) and Health and Social Care (youth justice); and from the affiliated International Centre for the History of crime, policing and justice, based in the Faculty of Arts. The ICCCR unites contemporary practice-based research and critical policy analysis in crime, policing and criminal justice with an awareness of historical, psychological and social contexts.

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