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Uruguay police officers training in ‘restorative justice’ methods in Cambridge

January 17, 2014

According to Uruguay’s Ministry of Interior press office the courses are dictated by professors Lawrence Sherman, Heather Strang, Barak Ariel, Brian Dowling and Peter Neyroud, all experts in different fields of police and criminal strategies including restorative justice.

“Our officers were exposed to different examples of ‘evidence-based-policing’, which means focusing, testing and monitoring strategies with the purpose of the development, assessment and perfection of different practices which are effective and efficient for a good police performance”, reads the release.

Of special interest was ‘Restorative Justice’ which addresses criminal law issues, but focused on the victims needs giving priority to repair the damage caused by criminal activity. These restorative methods can consist in money compensation to the victims; showing audiovisuals to those who committed the crime and their victims, with testimonies from other victims and encouraging group discussions in which offenders and victims can be accompanied by whom they chose.

A facilitator and co-facilitator act as moderators. The purpose of these meetings is to work on the emotions of those involved by reducing wrath, fear and the wish of revenge.

The restorative justice methodology is very common in Anglo-Saxon countries because it has helped to significantly reduce criminal re-occurrence. This methodology has no institutional record in Uruguay, and “this strategy will be another element to innovate in police activities”.

Read the full article.


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