Limerick people invited to learn about Restorative Justice

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Photo Credit - Le Chéile Mentoring

LE CHÉILE Mentoring, the national volunteer mentoring and family support service, is hosting a number of public events in Limerick between November 22 and 26 as part of International Restorative Justice Week.

The events are being held in collaboration with Limerick Restorative Practices Project and Limerick CYPSC (Children and Young People’s Services Committee).

The programme includes an online seminar looking at the opinions of Limerick’s general public, who are asked to put themselves in the position of a victim of crime and to consider if they would meet the offender and discuss the offence.

The seminar will explore public perceptions of crime and how restorative justice interventions can help.

There is also a public event on Friday November 26 in Limerick’s Milk Market, where there will be an art workshop and a ‘human library’ where members of the public can meet various people involved in the criminal justice system and hear their stories, as well as getting an opportunity to ask questions of frontline practitioners.

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Restorative Justice is a way of responding to crime by providing a forum for victims and offenders to come together in a safe and structured environment to explore what happened and to make amends.

It offers the offender an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and look at ways to repair the harm caused and rebuild relationships with their victims and community.

Le Chéile Mentoring’s Restorative Justice Project was set up in 2010 in partnership with the Probation Service to work with young people across Limerick and Clare that are involved in youth crime and anti-social behaviour. Since then, the project has gone on to work with over 190 young people.

Lorna Walsh, Restorative Justice Project Officer at Le Chéile, has worked closely with young people across Limerick and Clare on repairing the harm they may have caused to victims of their crimes.

She explained: “Restorative Justice really does work. In my time with Le Chéile, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power it can have in bringing young people, victims of crime, families and communities back together again. The project shows young people that there is an alternative to a life of crime and that it’s never too late to make amends and choose a different path.”

She continued: “We are excited to have an opportunity to showcase what restorative justice is and what it can do. We have been working in Limerick since 2010 and we can now show through international research and our own proven results that a restorative approach can work and make a real difference to the lives of young people who are in a cycle of offending and re-offending. We want the people of Limerick to join us for some of the events and to  ask questions about restorative justice and what it can do.”

To register for the events or to find out more visit www.lecheile.ie