The Views of School Pupils on the Use of Restorative Justice in Scotland

Vaswani, Nina and Brown, Aaron (2022) The Views of School Pupils on the Use of Restorative Justice in Scotland. Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice, Glasgow.

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Restorative Justice is defined as “a process of independent, facilitated contact, which supports constructive dialogue between a victim and a person who has harmed (whether this be an adult, a child, a young person or a representative of a corporate or other body) arising from an offence or alleged offence.” (Scottish Government, 2017: p6.) The Scottish Government have committed to ensuring that Restorative Justice (RJ) services are widely available across Scotland by 2023, and have an action plan in place to deliver that commitment. A key outcome set out within the action plan is to ensure that there is strong public awareness and understanding of Restorative Justice in Scotland. Under actions designed to ensure progress towards this outcome, the Scottish Government includes engagement with stakeholders across Scotland, and with specific groups, in order to identify current opinions on Restorative Justice and use these to inform key messages. As part of this activity the Scottish Government commissioned the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice to conduct research with children, young people and families to explore their awareness, understanding and attitudes to Restorative Justice in Scotland. This report presents the findings of that research, including young people’s understandings of harm, the awareness and acceptability of Restorative Justice, and key messages for the Scottish Government about the implementation and delivery of Restorative Justice in Scotland.