Saturday, 22 August 2015

Understanding the "outcomes" of a restorative process

Prowl Public Relations
Understanding Restorative Practices
It is easy to underestimate (or over-estimate!!!) the outcomes of restorative practices. 

A casual observer might see "just a slap on the wrist" for a serious offence. A novice practitioner might hear the "right responses" to the script and believe that all has been resolved and a better future will follow.

It is important that those responsible for implementing Restorative Practices can accurately identify and  articulate the actual outcomes of a particular restorative process.  Restorative Practices are not an event!! They will need to be able to know and tell 'the full story' of what is achieved and much as they can. 

A range of  possible outcomes
For examples outcomes can be
  • Actions - participants may apologise, shake hands, make restitution, forgive, reconcile, vent...
  • Experiences - participants may have a sense of belonging, being heard...
  • Changed relationships - resulting in new ways of interacting and experiencing each other based on the way in which particular people interact with self and others during and following the meeting
  • Learning and insights - a better understanding of how the world works, and people are and how they work: cause and effect, flow-on effects, the experiences of others, similarities, differences, motivations,...
  • New attitudes - beliefs and feelings that guide judgements and actions in relation to self, others and property
  • Improved life chances - the ability to access opportunities that lead to success and well-being 
  • And ...       
Outcomes emerge over time
To properly understand the outcomes they need to be monitored and supported on a timeline:
  • Prior - what happened before and what the effects have been so far
  • Immediate - what happened during the process
  • Short-term - what happens immediately after:  the student (victim and/or offender) are retained at school; courts and incarceration avoided, improved the relationship between those involved,... 
  • Long term - community building and life chances: a better place and improved likelihood of success and well being
No two identical instances
And finally the outcomes will be unique for each of the parties involved:  offender, victim, supporter.... and all need to be considered and accounted for each time. 

The fact that a process didn't work last time does not mean it is not worth trying this time.  as a friend and colleague of mine always taught:
  • Be yourself
  • Be your best
  • And never give up  [Gilroy Ashdown]

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thanks for your comment