Reconciliation project in running for national award
A Shetland project which attempts to reconcile offenders with their victims through restorative justice and art has been shortlisted for a national award.
Space2face aims to provide offenders with a constructive way to confront the effects of their actions and also to make amends with their victims.
The scheme has been shortlisted as one of three projects in the criminal justice category of the Restorative Practice Awards UK (RPUK), taking place in London on Friday.
The project was co-founded by Alyson Halcrow and Clair Aldington in 2008 and is run as a partnership between Shetland Arts and the Community Meditation Team.
Restorative justice is an approach to justice which focuses on increasing offender accountability by encouraging those who have caused harm to acknowledge and take responsibility for their behaviour and its negative impact on the victim and community.
In direct contrast to state justice the restorative process does not aim to define what punishment is deserved but rather to ask how can offenders compensate for their wrong-doing.
The process also differs from more traditional methods of justice by allowing the victims to have an active role if they wish to.
Proponents of restorative justice believe victims can begin to work towards restitution by explaining the effects of their harm or loss, hearing an apology and saying how the harm can be repaired.
Though restorative justice itself is gaining traction throughout the country as an effective way to work through the fallout of crime space2face is unique in using arts and creativity as a cornerstone of the process.