Restorative Justice in Youth Work
Before working at Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership, Vince worked with Cardiff Youth Offending Service. He was often asked to facilitate restorative justice meetings as part of a young persons Out of Court Disposal.
One case involved a young person who had gained unlawful entry into a nightclub and stolen a number of high value items from behind the bar. On exiting the nightclub, the young person was apprehended by door staff and arrested by the police. As this was his first offence and pleaded guilty, he was given an Out of Court Disposal which included the opportunity for a restorative meeting. The young person agreed to a face to face meeting with the shift manager of the nightclub.
Vince met with both parties individually first to listen to their story and ascertain whether or not a face to face meeting was suitable or not. Once happy that any risk was minimised and both parties were prepared, they were given the opportunity to share their views to each other. The shift manager explained how an incident like this could have resulted in him losing his job, which supported him through university and without it, would have had to drop out. The young person had no idea of how his actions could have such an impact and thought that the lost money would just be absorbed by the company with no problems. Once he had the opportunity to hear the real impact his actions could have had, he was very remorseful and apologised wholeheartedly to the shift manager. Both parties left feeling much better about the situation and a valuable life lesson being learnt.