Source: (2004) Paper presented to the Home Office Training Restorative Justice Training and Accreditation Group meeting on 23 July. Downloaded 23 August 2005.
As early as the summer of 2003 The Association of Restorative Practitioners (A.R.P.) was founded by a group of RJ practitioners, who had decided that they should look at the possibilities of managing and regulating their own field of work. There was a concern that practitioners in the field of restorative justice might find themselves under the control of those outside the field or those who had no experience of the actual work itself, a future based on theory rather than sound practice. There were felt to be a variety of different agencies and interest groups, but none who offered the neutrality and inclusivity that is required. The Restorative Justice Consortium, as an umbrella organisation was seen as the most appropriate home for a professional body. Therefore under the aegis of the RJC a group of practitioners met to establish a professional body of skilled and experienced workers. It was felt from the first that an inclusive approach to each others’ practice was essential and that a diversity of high quality restorative approaches would be welcomed. The name of the Association was chosen to underline the good practice and expertise that already existed in this country. Similar areas of work whether they be legal, therapeutic or academic are invariably controlled by those practicing in that discipline. They listen to the advice of those around them, take heed of research but ultimately accept the responsibility to maintain their own standards. Furthermore just as we empower the participants in a restorative encounter to take control of their affairs – because we believe it to be the best way – so we should apply these same restorative principles to our own management. (excerpt)
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