University of Gloucestershire students are working with Gloucestershire’s Restorative Justice (RJ) programme and bringing victims of crime together with those who committed the crime against them,
Restorative Justice in Gloucestershire is based in HMP Gloucester, but covers the whole county, utilising volunteers from around Gloucestershire including third year Criminology student Charlotte Rhodes.
The project is jointly managed by Jemma Jewkes, HMP Gloucester, and Jane Marriot, Team Manager at Gloucestershire Youth Offending Service.  It has started to implement this approach in Gloucestershire with the aim to reduce the number and severity of re-offending as well as to reduce the fear of crime and desire for revenge of the victims of crime.
“We have currently focused our work on offenders in prison but we are looking to extend this work to offer the opportunity to include victims where the offender is on a community sentence and working with young offenders at risk of offending,” said Jemma Jewkes.
She added “Restorative Interventions lead to a reduction in re-offending, a key element of the Home Office Crime Strategy, Cutting Crime: A New Partnership and the Make Communities Safer.  Restorative interventions will aim to both reduce the volume of re-offending, and the severity of re-offending.”
Reducing re-offending is a core function of custodial establishments, with all prisons required to have a resettlement service level agreement that reflects and links into both regional and national reducing re-offending strategies.
Dr David Turner, course leader for criminology at the University of Gloucestershire is a trained RJ Facilitator and has just enlisted two Criminology students to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the RJ project in Gloucestershire as the focus for their dissertation.
Caroline Little and Lewis Lincoln-Gordon will be assessing RJ as means to repairing the harm caused and how effective this is in the project’s first year of operation.
Dr David Turner said “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to engage in real criminological issues working with their criminology tutor and undertaking genuine applied research. Furthermore these students will be working alongside prison officers and youth offending officers as well as meeting offenders and their victims”. 
The project expects to produce reports of their findings throughout 2010 and 2011 based on the research conducted by the students under the supervision of Dr David Turner.

Source: University of Gloucestershire