Page 1


The Association of Panel Members

Delivering the most effective sentence available to courts CONTENTS

Criminal records - 2

A better way in jail ? – 3

Charity No. 1137430 Company No. 6006552 Child trafficking & Cannabis farms – 5

Restorative Panels – Twitter debate with the Experts - 7

The men from the Ministry said: ‘Research shows that the public don’t understand sentencing, but that more than three quarters think sentences are ‘too lenient’. Changing people’s attitudes is notoriously difficult, and measuring the impact of initiatives to do so can be just as hard. However, we know that people change their minds about sentencing when they know the facts.’ You be the Judge is an interactive tool intended to help people learn more about sentencing, by putting them in the judge’s seat. The public are taken through the facts of a case with a series of videos. They hear the defendant’s plea, and any aggravating or mitigating factors, before deciding on what sentence to pass. They then compare their sentence with the one handed out by a real judge. The tool is used to work out if it had changed users’ views about sentencing. For every three users who enter the site thinking sentencing is too lenient, two leave it thinking it’s about right. So the Ministry are succeeding in building confidence among 66% of their core audience. Or are they ? Mysteriously, the referral order sentence is omitted entirely from options in the youth court case – albeit the young person admits to the ofence. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act 2012 introduced multiple referral orders if the young person pleads guilty. When challenged as to whether the restorative justice sentence is presently a state secret, a spokesman for the MOJ replied: “the tool was commissioned before Royal Assent was received for (the Act) and it was considered inappropriate to include a sentencing option that had not yet received Parliamentary approval. We will consider including referral orders when we update the tool.” Full details of 2012 changes are here.

Join AOPM today! The Association of Panel Members

Age of criminal responsibility - 6

ISSUE 37 March 2013

Every year 75,000 17 year olds are held in police custody. Charity Just for Kids Law is challenging the current legal anomaly which treats 17 year olds in police custody as adults rather than children. This means they are not entitled to have the support of a family member or an Appropriate Adult with them during police questioning and that their parents are not informed they are in custody. A judicial review by the High Court will examine the argument that the present position contravenes both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children’s Act 2004. A 17 year old girl with learning difficulties, charged with a public order offence, was denied adult guidance, even though there was an appropriate adult in the police station. Subsequently the case was dropped. The girl’s mother is ‘100% sure an appropriate adult would have made all the difference’ to her ‘vulnerable’ daughter. Scott, a boy in foster care was denied adult guidance despite the fact his foster dad, a social worker and former police officer, offered to support the teenager at the police station. The experience of INQUEST and Just for Kids Law’s is that there is lack of understanding amongst the police of the particular vulnerabilities of 17 year olds who come into contact with the criminal justice system. Both charities made written submissions to the coroner conducting the inquest into the death of 17 year old Edward Thornber. He was questioned by the police about the possession of a small amount of cannabis worth 50p and was advised that he would receive a Final Warning but face no action. Being 17 years old. Edward’s parents were not informed he had been detained in police custody. After he returned home …


Email: Page 1

Legal challenge cont’d

..a series of procedural errors meant that he was summonsed to appear before a criminal court. The day after receiving the summons from a police officer, Edward Thornber disappeared from his family home. The following day, 15th September 2011, he was found hanging in a nearby wood having left a note expressing his apologies. Another case was that of 17 year old Joe Lawton. In August 2012, Joe Lawton also took his own life shortly after he returned home following his arrest and interview on charges of drink-driving by Greater Manchester Police. His parents were not told he had been detained and were not aware he had been charged. His parents have said “what happened to Joe shows how serious it is that 17 year olds in custody are not supported. When Joe killed himself, he put the charge sheet at his feet”. In the case of a 17 year old who was held in a London police station for 12 hours overnight on suspicion of robbery the boy, with no previous convictions, was not allowed to ring his mother to explain where he was or ask her to come to the police station. Nor was he offered the services of an Appropriate Adult. The boy was released without charge. His family had been terrified about why he had apparently disappeared for several hours. Shauneen Lambe, executive director of Just Kids for Law said: "In the case we are bringing, the child specifically asked officers to inform his mother of his arrest and ask for her assistance but this did not happen. Our client hadn't committed an offence … He was never charged. His parents didn't know where he was." His family only learned what had occurred when officers began searching his grandmother's house. Lambe added: "Young people can be traumatised by their experiences at the police station and the role of the appropriate adult is to ensure and monitor the child's wellbeing." The claim is being brought against both the Metropolitan police commissioner and the Home Office. Police practice in treating 17-year-old juveniles like adults has been criticised by official watchdogs, including HM Inspectorate of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Care Quality Commission. Earlier this year the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act prevented 17-year-olds being remanded to prison, requiring instead that they be held in local authority or youth detention accommodation. The Association of Panel Members

Police cautions lead to a 100-year criminal record

GROWING numbers of people are being turned down for jobs and university places because they accepted police cautions for minor offences without realising they would give them a criminal record. New figures show that cautions showed up on 153,000 Criminal Records Bureau checks carried out in 2011, allowing employers to stop candidates working with children or in health and social care. Young people caught shoplifting or taking part in drunken pranks are agreeing to sign the statements in the mistaken belief they will be wiped from databases after a few years, not realising that they remain on file until they turn 100. Lawyer David Wacks has set up CRB Problems Ltd a business to help people affected by vetting checks find work or education, as the problem is becoming so common and overturning cautions is so difficult. He said: 'Minor incidents or pranks which in the past may have merited a 'good talking to' by a policeman often end up in cautions which may ruin a person's job prospects.' Josie Appleton of the Manifesto Club, a campaigning libertarian group said: 'It is fundamentally unjust that people's careers can be blighted by a reprimand that hasn't been proven in a court of law.' Jackie Sinclair from the crime reduction charity Nacro, said: 'Cautions, reprimands and final warnings do form part of a person's record, and are always disclosed on both standard and enhanced criminal record checks, even though many people have been told otherwise.' In total 2.8 million cautions, known as first-time reprimands and final warnings when given to under18s, have been handed out in England and Wales over the past decade. They are usually offered by police after they arrest someone for shoplifting, possession of small amounts of soft drugs and minor violent crimes.Station officers tell offenders they can either sign a statement to accept the caution and the matter will be closed, but if they refuse they will face prosecution. Cautions do not count as convictions but they do require the perpetrator to admit their guilt and details are recorded on the Police National Computer. Until 2009 there was a system whereby they would be 'stepped down' after a few years, but although this was removed it is widely believed that the penalties are wiped when teenagers turn 18. Now cautions remain on a person's file until they turn 100 and although they do not have to be disclosed when applying for jobs, they show up on CRB checks. The Page 2

only way cautions can be deleted is by applying to the chief constable of the force that handed it out.

There MUST surely be better ways of dealing with non-violent offending.

A 13-year-old girl was caught stealing lip gloss and nail varnish worth £16 from a Boots. She said she was forced into shoplifting by a group of fellow school pupils who were bullying her, and her parents made her pay back the cost of the cosmetics as well as donating all her holiday money to charity. The girl – who wishes to remain anonymous – accepted a reprimand for theft at the police station, believing it would expire within a few years. But when she later tried to get a job in nursing her local NHS hospital turned her down after the penalty showed up on an enhanced CRB check. Another hospital accepted her on a course but despite being a 'straight A pupil' her family fears the one-off blemish on her record will prevent her getting a place on a degree course. The girl's father said: 'My daughter hasn't done anything wrong since this but the system seems to bring it up at every hurdle she comes to.'

Professor Sir Al Aynsley-Green, England’s first Children’s Commissioner, argues that the publication of the Green Paper Transforming Youth Custody: Putting Education at the Heart of Detention is welcome and the philosophy of giving effective education and training to young offenders is long overdue.

A Home Office spokesperson said: 'CRB checks are not a substitute for good managerial practice or employers using their own discretion. Businesses are advised that a criminal conviction or caution should not automatically discount someone from a job. Cautions are only given out when someone has accepted responsibility for the offence. They should be advised at the time that this may be disclosed in the future.' Two more teens commit suicide in jail

JAKE HARDY, A 17-year-old who was serving six months for affray and common assault died in hospital after he was found hanging in his cell at HMYOI Hindley in Wigan on Friday 18th Jan. The following week 15-year-old ALEX KELLY who had been identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm, died after being found unconscious in his cell at a young offenders institution in Kent on 22nd January. He had been serving a 10-month sentence for burglary and theft from a vehicle. RIP Jake and Alex. The Association of Panel Members

My unique statutory power to visit all three types of the current secure estate, have given me some sense of the size of the mountain to climb. Our government could learn from good practice in Canada and in Spain. As Children’s Commissioner I listened to Adam (not his real name), a 16-year-old in his cell in a UK Government-run Youth Offender Institution (YOI). He told me he had been transported from court to prison in a ‘sweat box’ – a steel-lockered van – carrying adults as well as children; he sat for many hours on a hard metal bench, his knees touching the wall in front; seat belts were not provided for risk of self harm, he had nothing to do, was unable to see out of the tiny window, and because the van was not allowed to stop, he had to pee and defecate on the floor. Others in the van vomited through travel sickness. Because adults’ journey times from court to prison were subject to government targets, but children’s journey times were not, adults were the first to be dropped off. So children like Adam endured long journeys before reaching their destinations, often late at night when the regular staff responsible for induction were not on duty. Adam described his humiliation at being strip-searched in front of several prison officers. At Adam’s YOI I saw an unkempt poorly maintained estate, with no effort to humanize its appearance or atmosphere. Adam slept with his head three feet away from an open, filthy, stinking lavatory; he had not been allowed any cleaning materials. His meagre personal belongings were in a black bin bag under his bed; the paintwork of his cell was stained and peeling. He had no access to fresh air through the secured window. He was given one towel per week to dry himself and his eating utensils. His lunch (which I saw) consisted of a dry half-baguette cheese sandwich, a bag of crisps and an apple. He had nothing more to eat until 7pm. He spent hours locked in his cell, told me he had no personalized education plan, made no complaints for perceived fear of being victimized by prison officers, and claimed to be subjected to unwarranted and painful restraint from staff who, I discovered, were not specialist in the

Page 3

management of disturbed young people. Is it any wonder that he ‘kicked off’ in rage and frustration? In contrast to these inhuman conditions in a YOI, I saw a very different ethos on a visit to Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre. I asked to be treated like a new inmate. I was transported not in a ‘sweat box’, but in a people carrier sitting between two female officers trained in managing children in transit. Comfort stops were arranged at secure police stations en route; nutritious food was provided and arrival always timed to ensure that induction took place humanely with respectful strip-searching and time to allow the child to adapt. The staff ate with the children in a tranquil environment with good quality nutritious food appropriate to a healthy young appetite, and serious education was relentlessly promoted. Both the Centre and its College were inspected by Ofsted to its exacting standards and both were graded as 'Outstanding'. I commended those achievements. Similarly, in a local authority secure children's home I saw further examples of excellent care. The outstanding staff were trained from a background of care for children and were motivated and dedicated, doing their best often under high levels of overload to work with young offenders, many of whom were violent and dangerous. These vignettes show that there is no consistency across the secure estate on attitudes, culture, training and practices and searching questions must be asked on why is there such a stark lack of consistency. How will the Green Paper address this fundamental problem? In the past year I have visited Canada and Spain to see for myself how young offenders are managed there and have seen philosophies, practices and outcomes that are far different to those of England. In Canada, half of all the secure estate for youngsters was closed as a result of the Young Offenders Act of 2003 (updated in 2012 as the Youth Criminal Justice Act) that was driven through the Federal Parliament with cross party support. Its key principles comprise prevention, early identification of offenders, police flexibility in recording offences, and keeping children out of criminal courts for minor offences. Restorative justice is heavily promoted with the perpetrator being confronted by the victim, with individualized community rehabilitation policies that are seen to be real punishments but coupled with re-integration. The

The Association of Panel Members

whole philosophy is grounded in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. I visited a secure establishment in Nova Scotia where the contrast between its ethos and environment to those YOIs I visited in England could not be starker. Prison officers had been replaced by non-uniformed graduate children’s workers who were specialists in the care of troubled young people; those I spoke to in the secure ‘facility’ (not a ‘prison’) were convinced that only those children who were a serious danger to themselves or to others should be locked away; but even they were not denied hope. Canadian police officers I spoke to, such as the senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer in charge of Nova Scotia’s police, were incredulous that what they had seen in England went unchallenged; they were resolute in making sure that our practices were not copied, and the federal and provincial politicians I spoke to were persuaded that their approach was working. More recently I visited young offender institutions run by the Diagrama Foundation in Alicante and Castellón in Spain, and have seen the ‘promised land’ for young offenders! A DVD documenting the three days of the visit is to be found on here. These Spanish youngsters have a less than 20 per cent re-offending rate (compared with 73 per cent in the UK). How has Spain achieved these results? There are four strikingly better aspects of the management of youngsters there than in England namely, philosophy, staffing, ambience and expectation. The philosophy, as in Canada, is based on the principles of re-education and re-integration into society. The institutions are small and based in local communities in which the children and their families live and in which training and employment prospects are found. The institutions are not called prisons or YOIs, they are called ‘Centres for Re-education’. The staff working with the young people are called ‘Educators’, not prison officers. They are graduates, trained in the psychological management of disturbed youngsters and showing warmth, including close physical contact and comfort to their charges unseen in any English establishment. I was told that the staff liked and loved their young people, sharing meals,

Page 4

sport and outside activities with their mixed groups of boys and girls. I saw a thoroughly professional work force motivated to succeed for the best interests of the children, but coupled with the reality that the public needed to be protected and reassured that punishment was being delivered. The well-ordered and scrupulously maintained premises created an ambience focused on education and training with much access to sport and physical activity despite the heat of the Spanish summer. The atmosphere was one of relaxed humour, but with purposeful and disciplined activity. There was none of the aggression and underlying tension seen daily in English YOIs. Young people were offered incentives to progress through the ‘journey of care’. On arrival, their facilities and timetable were basic. Thereafter they could earn privileges such as the chance to go outside the unit on work placements. There was the expectation that all young people would be able to progress, this giving a real chance of hope in their lives. The young men and women who were sentenced for the same range of offences as for those in England, including convictions for violent crime, told me repeatedly that they saw their sentence to the Unit and loss of liberty coupled with the expectation of hard work to be real punishments I accompanied them on their work placement into the National Forest, where they were trained in land and forestry management and learned about the habitat. I saw others working as gardeners in the grounds of the local Court with some being given secretarial and retail experience. There was an explicit sense of community, political and media pride in the establishments. It is hardly surprising that the re-offending rate is only 20 per cent, the majority of young people gaining some useful and purposeful training. Whether this outstanding record can be maintained in the current dire economic situation in Spain with its appalling youth unemployment remains to be seen. I have to conclude that these countries are showing a progressive, realistic and above all successful approach to youth offending. Some aspects of the Spanish circumstance, such as the warmth shown to children in society and the absence of media demonization of youngsters offer a model to which we in the UK can aspire. There is much to be learned to our benefit by applying the principles I have seen so clearly implemented in practice.

The Association of Panel Members

The new consultation on the importance of education in the secure estate in England is welcome. However, mixed signals are being flown. Thus, there seems to be an interest in how to improve education in the youth secure estate, but on the other hand, there are demands not least from the right wing media to end the so-called ‘holiday-camp’ atmosphere and the denial of basic privileges in prisons. The opportunity provided by the Green Paper needs to be seized. But there is much more to be done than outsourcing education to school academies or education providers. A root and branch review of the current mismatch of provision and culture between the three types of secure estate must be performed, alongside serious consideration being given to the lessons from Canada and Spain in creating small local centres for re-education, the development of a graduate work force of ‘educators’ and above media and political support in recognising that locking away young offenders in a brutal environment is not the answer to youth crime. Is there really the political will at a time of severe financial constraint to ‘look out of the box’ and transform the outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged youngsters in the country? children trafficked to the uk to work in cannabis factories

HUNDREDS of children are being smuggled into Britain from Vietnam to work in cannabis factories, with some trafficking victims being arrested, prosecuted and sent to prison. According to figures from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) 96 Vietnamese children were brought into Britain in 2012, a rise of 41% on the previous year. The increase comes as domestic production of cannabis soars. In 2011-12 Police in England and Wales found 7,685 cannabis farms in locations, ranging from warehouses in the countryside to lofts in suburban homes. The main offence with which child victims of trafficking are likely to be charged is the cultivation of cannabis plants under section 6 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.This can carry a maximum sentence of fourteen years. The trafficking gangs use debt bondage and the threat of reprisals against their Page 5

families to prevent the children from trying to escape. Vietnamese children were most frequently discovered in the West Midlands, East Midlands and Greater London regions. CEOP’s Strategic Threat Assessment of child trafficking in the UK found that during the period March 2009 – February 2010, Vietnamese children accounted for the largest group of children trafficked. 58 children were identified (43 boys and 15 girls), aged between 13 and 17 years old. 37 were identified as being exploited in cannabis factories. CEOP also reported that Vietnamese children comprise the largest identified group going missing from local authority care. Of the 42 children identified as missing 28 (67%) were Vietnamese. A number of these children were rediscovered in cannabis factories. It is believed that Vietnamese children go missing from care whilst, for example, waiting to be age assessed. They feel pressured to return to situations of exploitation in order to pay off debt bonds to their traffickers. These debts are sometimes secured against relatives’ land in Vietnam as insurance, further increasing victim complicity. Campaigning group EPCAT UK raised concerns about the criminalisation of children apprehended in raids on cannabis factories, who are prosecuted in the UK courts rather than provided with protection. Many children are not identified as potential victims of trafficking and subsequently prosecuted as criminals, charged with drug or immigration offences. However as children, they cannot consent to their own exploitation and should be seen as victims of trafficking and exploitation under UK and international law, and provided with the necessary care and support. ECPAT UK is also concerned that many of these children go missing from local authority care soon after they have been bailed or released from custody, and are at risk of being retrafficked or exploited in other ways. Were James Bulger's killers too young to stand trial?

20 years after the kidnap and murder of James Bulger by 10-year-olds, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, the age at which children should face criminal proceedings is in the spotlight once more. A private members Bill raised by Lord Dholakia is making its way slowly through Parliament, seeking a simple change in the law by replacing the word “ten” with the word “twelve” in s 50 of the Children and Young Person’s Act 1933.

The Association of Panel Members

At 10, the minimum age of criminal responsibility (MACR) in England and Wales remains markedly low by international standards. Pressure for an increase has been growing with 2,000 primary school-age children arrested in 2011; although a child must be age 13 to get a paper round, 16 to consent to sex, and 17 to drive. Criminalising children is counterproductive, say campaigners: it does little to prevent reoffending, makes it harder for them to secure employment in the future and exposes them to more serious offenders increasing the risk of recidivism. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) has been warning since 1995 that the UK's threshold of 10 – set in 1963 – is incompatible with its obligations under the UN's convention on children's rights. Until 1998, the 14th-century doctrine of doli incapax meant prosecutors had to prove that under-14s knew that their behaviour was seriously wrong, not just naughty. The Labour government declared the principle "contrary to common sense" and abolished it after James Bulger ‘s death.

"Children may understand the difference between right and wrong from the age of seven," says Ray Arthur, a reader in law at Teesside University, "but the brain doesn't fully develop until you're in your early 20s, particularly the parts that control impulses, foresight and understanding consequences." While a child of 10 can appear in the youth court, an adult defendant with a similar mental age would probably be considered unfit to plead, making a trial impossible. Evidence suggests children struggle to understand what is happening once they are in the system. At Royal Holloway, University of London, criminologist Alex Newbury conducted in-depth studies of 11- and 12-year-olds who received a referral order. But Newbury found that the children frequently didn't understand the legal process or possess the attention span needed, and could be overwhelmed by the panel system's demands. Page 6

Failing to stick to the contract or turn up to meetings means being summoned back to court and risking a harsher sentence. Yet "breaches" are common, says Melanie Stooks, a London solicitor who specialises in juvenile law, especially among her younger clients. Parents only have to go to the first panel meeting and many children are from dysfunctional families, she points outs. "You're talking about it being the responsibility of a young child to ensure they attend a whole range of appointments and meetings," says Stooks. She has met teenagers who want to work with children or young people who have been told they can't do related courses at college because the referral order on their file means they won't be able to get a job in the field. "It's incredibly crushing," Stooks says. The government's position is that an MACR higher than 10 would have allowed the perpetrators of crimes such as the Bulger murder to escape justice. "The government believes young people aged 10 and over are able to differentiate between bad behaviour and serious wrongdoing and, as such, we have no intention of reviewing this," says justice minister Jeremy Wright.

B Can you identify interventions that are NOT Restorative Justice Practice Approaches - I can many sadly misuse this term

R 'surrogate' victim processes, community reparation with no community/victim input, not giving both sides choice etc B I would agree except that I saw a great system in Melbourne where the police act as as surrogate victim ...seems to work well

R think it potentially enables offender to neutralise- "sure my victim didn't feel like that" etc worry its anti therapeutic A This is often applied to RO panels by Experts. But how else can communities accomodate RJ ?

B call it what it is and not what it isn't ...really simple.... A What is it then? A Hm. Looks suspiciously like an Expert has to certify what is and isn't restorative.

R not really its pretty straightforward RJ has to involve the victim or it isn't a restorative intervention.... ... However - can a panel be delivered with a restorative ethos, with restorative language – yes A RO panels actually legislate for victim involvement, so why do

Restorative Referral Orders ?

Experts maintain they are NOT restorative ?

R Panels are restorative if the victim attends or is represented. A So only face-to-face meetings ARE restorative? R No that's why I said 'or represented'. But as previous tweet even without victim involvement panels.. ...can be delivered restoratively (language/ethos) they just wouldn't be a restorative intervention.. ...without some involvement with the victim. A Thank goodness the gov't saw thru the profound The deafening silence following the government’s announcement of £600,000 for Youth Offending Teams to provide training to Panel Members to enable volunteers to deliver more restorative and reparative panels, may at least be partially filled by a recent spontaneous online debate via Twitter. The debate took place over two days - 22-24 February 2013. A full transcript of the discussion follows. Participants B Bonita.Holland (@snowdropbooks) R Remedi (@RemediRj ) T Theo Gavrilides (@TGavrielides) A AOPM (@PanelMembers) [For non-Twitterati, entires are restricted to 140 characters only] The Association of Panel Members

communication issues of the RJ industry Experts to expand panels.

A Is RJ face-to-face only, or isn't it ? R The latest Panel Matters, Govt RJ strategy+ YJB guidance for panels are entirely in agreement with prev tweets R Would be truly interested to know the AOPM views on the subject. A Panels explicitly accommodate the unacknowledged victims of crime excluded from face-to-face RJ - the community… Although low direct victim involvement due to system wide

Page 7

inertia, panels deliver the most effective sentence‌Although

A Why is that more valid than proven reoffending rates?


B well the point is RJ is all about the personal, the






reoffending rates to the Gold Standard NI (Northern Ireland) model

B that's really good and useful however the only research

machinery of it is the personal...if the personal ain't there

A The personal is there in the persons from the community. B that's the problem, so many interventions claim the

that supports effective RJ practice is face to face....

Restorative Label and my be good in their own right but

A Research versus proven re-offending rates? Which has

not RJ.

greater validity?... See proven reoffending rates (**)

A What better evidence is there than ACTUAL reoffending

B please do send me any links to proven re offending rates as I'm always seeking evidence to support RJ models



B in Adelaide over 20,000 face to face RJ Youth Court meetings, why not here?

23c.281233.h#g281233.q0 ‌ B I don't understand?

A Ask the YJB and the police

B but it isn't restorative justice as described by J

haul...Australia has much to learn from as they've been

Braithwaite and T.O Connell it's something

doing RJ ages

else...good...yes?... where is the robust research that

A Even with low victim involvement and non-professional

indicates a % reduction in 're offending please for non

facilitation, panels deliver most effective sentence available

face to face RJ?

B we do know what makes restorative justice effective-

A So RJ is only face to face ? Or is it ?

Queensland study said 4 variables made the difference

B face to face is the only model that I know of that

all cases were face to face

delivers all the original defining restorative justice

A We also know that panels are highly effective albeit not fitting


into your preferred mould. More simply, they work

A Not sure of the value of text books in terms of

R Insisting RJ takes only one form ie Direct face to face takes

community safety and consensus building. But hey!

away informed choice from participants and...Potentially closes

B surely there is no restorative anything without the

the door to involvement. Levels of victim involvement in panels's simply a different type of court or intervention

is low's under invested in,the timeframe imposed by

A Your fellow Expert doesn't agree with that -

National standards is poor and information sharing of...Victims


details is woefully inadequate. When anyone says something

B another study shows that even video conferences

'works' the first Question should be...Works for who? And what

aren't as effective as face to face...I want RJ to be

do you mean by work? The debate about panels is flawed as


the starting point is...inaccurate- A panel may be an

A Panels ARE effective.

exceptionally good intervention but it ain't necessarily

B J. Braithwaite wrote extensively and others about what


restorative justice is, he outlined principles, others tested

A Panels clearly don't work for the Experts, but they are more

A Are you referring to the Shapland studies?

effective in reducing re-offending than other measures

B yes

R Having attended 100s of panels in numerous YOTs I firmly

B we only know from research that face to face delivers

believe panels can work- haven't said otherwise...however

14-27% reductions, other models don't have robust

when considering the question are panels restorative? Then the

B I have, also I've asked the MoJ...its a long

evidence The Association of Panel Members

Page 8

answer absolutely is sometimes...that doesn't mean panels

B label of Restorative Justice covers a wide range of

don't work or aren't valuable. Issue for me as a restorative prac

activities, some deliver some things that others don't that's important

is reoffending...cannot be the only measure of success. It's

A What is confusing about making reparation?

obviously very important but not the only result. A It isn't the only success. Less costly than other sentences esp jail; community benefits unquantified & ignored.

B reparation that is meaningful and transformative for both parties is very important not 'punitive' though

B please note I'm fully supportive of Panels v Prison

A Panels are about rehabilitation, restoration, and

however I believe we can do even better… what is your

reintegration. That seems pretty comprehensive to me….If the communications problems about RJ means that Joe Public thinks it's a soft option, shouldn't this be addressed?

own measure of success please, I'm interested in all positive outcomes…

A Proven reoffending. MOJ measure, not mine. B I need to clarify the point I'm making and re iterate

B Panorama Documentary and eg the work

previous tweets I'm not anti Panels… the label 'expert' denotes for me someone who has invested much time and care in the field

A Better through Panels where Joe Public can contribute

A Ditto, but outside the current remit of the UK RJ industry. B I seek a useful debate not to create defensive positions R Hence my withdrawal - debate is healthy but seemingly impossible here... “Ditto, but outside the current remit of the UK RJ industry.” Nonsense A Do you wish for a response in kind? B The statistical analysis for youth re offending rates by

of @Rayandvi and @peterwoolf57 help the public to 'get it'

actively. B The issues around Restorative Justice for me haven't been better described than in this paper …

A More so here [ *] T I had fun writing it! I got to say though…some people got

upset by it! A I wonder why ??

disposal are brief a small 3-5% difference …

A P14 1 yr proven reoffending rate RO 35.5% v jail 74.2% (62.9% lowest rate for other community sentences) B yes I read this table also the proviso in the text that this is not random control or matched samples...hence not valid data

A Oh well. B I want Panels to be effective I want more victims involved and I want young offenders to have a chance to change..that's all

B upset? The CoS(*) tells us that interests being startled or seen as spoilt result in Attack Others for some people

T excellent quote. Thanks. I fear a democracy where everyone

has to agree with everyone! --------------------Post Scripts [*] Readers may find the exchange of letters with the Minister in Para 7 enlightening

** Proven Reoffending

A Panels ARE effective. B in directing YO towards useful programmes in the community or education interventions I agree

A Actually it's a no-brainer. So what exactly is the issue with the Experts? B I go back to the beginning of this debate which is that some Models are not RJ according to the definitions, but still OK… I see many Models that meet the principles some that don't ...all called's confusing the public...that's not good.. eg the proposed Community Remedy mentions RJ but also confuses it with community punishment…

A It isn't about Models, it's about reducing reoffending ( & not creating morer victims). If face-to-face RJ seen as a magic bullet there's a major problem. The Association of Panel Members

Page 9

37 march2013 (2)  

Youth and Community Justice news

37 march2013 (2)  

Youth and Community Justice news