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Restorative cautioning: A study of police based restorative cautioning pilots in Northern Ireland

O'Mahony, David
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Northern Ireland Office Research & Statistical Series: Report No. 4. Belfast: Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency.

This report describes a study of two pilot restorative cautioning schemes run by police in Ballymena and in Mountpottinger, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The study covers a period from mid 1999 to mid 2001. At the time covered by the study, the police were using two types of restorative approaches to deal with offending juveniles. One, called a restorative conference, directly involved the victim. The other, called a restorative cautioning, did not directly involve the victim. Currently, whether or not the victim is directly involved, the police do not distinguish these practices but refer only to “restorative cautioning.â€? The schemes in Ballymena and Mountpottinger differed in this respect: the scheme in Ballymena dealt mostly with shoplifting cases, whereas the scheme in Mountpottinger was an alternative for cases deemed suitable for formal cautioning. In their report, the authors review research and literature on restorative justice and police-led restorative schemes. They also review previous Juvenile Liaison referrals and outcomes. This leads to evaluation of the impact of restorative sessions on all participants prior to the actual research period, and evaluation of restorative sessions observed during the research period. The authors conclude their report with a summary of their main findings, a bibliography, and a list of other relevant publications.


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