The Limerick Restorative Practices Project and Le Cheile Mentoring are proud to present Limerick's 1st Restorative Justice Week. The International Restorative Justice Week will take place all over Europe and beyond in the week between 18-25 November. There will be a full schedule of events in Limerick to mark this with the aim of introducing Restorative Justice (and its sister philosophy Restorative Practice) to as wide an audience as possible. All events are free (with the exception of the film), open to anyone, and will allow people the opportunity to see RP/RJ in action and ask questions about it to relevant practitioners.
Background: RJ is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behaviour. It has its roots in places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand and has grown internationally since the 70's. At the same time it is really something quite ancient in that it views crime as something that affects the entire community and that the entire community needs to be involved in repairing - something that the state has taken increasing control of over time. How many times have we heard that victims have no place in the criminal justice system? Well RJ provides processes that have shown up to 90% satisfaction ratings for victims, where it has been employed.
RP is something that has grown out of RJ and, while closely linked, places its primary focus on prevention, i.e. it enables people and communities to build positive relationships and thereby resolve difficulties and conflicts as they arise. It does this by using specific communication methods and techniques but again is nothing new really. It's about listening, empathy and doing things "with" people as opposed to "to" or "for" people. It has the potential to support positive, nurturing, healthy environments for schools, workplaces, in the home and in the wider community. Again research has shown that, where employed in schools for example, the levels of detention, suspension and bullying incidents has fallen by well over 50% and more in some cases. And, most importantly of all, teachers and students report better relationships, which is the ultimate goal.
Events for the week:
10-12pm Coffee with a Cop at McDonalds, Castletroy:
As the name suggests this is something that has grown out of the US, but is now a worldwide phenomenon. Grab a free coffee and a chat with a member of the Gardai. No agenda, no speeches, just a nice way to start the week and a chance for the community and the Gardai to get to know each other better in a relaxed environment.
11-1pm Introductory coffee mornings to Restorative Practices at The Factory Southside Youth Space, Galvone Road Get an introduction into Restorative Practices in this interactive workshop, ask questions and hear how its used in children's residential services from front line staff.
2-4pm Mock Restorative Justice conference at Urban Coop, Eastway Business Park, Ballysimon Road Witness a mock restorative justice conference address issues of bullying and conflict between two teenagers, but which has affected two families, without recourse to aggression and/or the courts. See the format, experience the power of this model of conflict resolution and discuss the possibilities afterwards for communities in a Q&A session.
6-7:30pm Restorative Practices as applied to coaching at Ceim ar Cheim, Moyross Again see how the simple principals of Restorative Practices can apply to coaching any sport, or any activity or that matter from the local chess club to the scout group to your senior hurling or soccer team. This important workshop for all coaches will improve your team's cohesion and morale, and reduce the possibility of bullying and conflict, while also giving you strategies for when conflict does arise.
6:30pm One off screening of 'The Meeting' at the Omniplex Cinema Limerick This film covers the real-life Restorative Justice meeting of Ailbhe Griffith (who plays herself in the film and was seen lately on the Late Late) and her attacker, and is the highlight of the week. It will be followed by a 40 minute Q&A with the film's producer Tomas Hardiman and Dr. Marie Keenan, Restorative Justice practitioner, who was also central to the real-life story.
For more questions on what these events are about, details on locations, or questions about RJ/RP in general contact
In a modest room in a Dublin suburb, two people prepare for a meeting that could have an enormous impact on their lives. For both of them, it is a complete step into the unknown.
The film is based on a real meeting which took place between Ailbhe Griffith and the man who, nine years earlier, subjected her to a horrific sexual assault and left her seriously injured and fearing for her life. Griffith, in an extraordinary move, has chosen to play herself in this unique drama from one of Ireland’s most provocative filmmakers, Alan Gilsenan.
What emerges is a truly unique and unorthodox cinematic experience as Ailbhe courageously seeks healing through a progressive form of justice, rapidly gaining momentum throughout the world.
Cast Ailbhe Griffith, Terry O’Neill, Kevin McCormack, Marie Keenan, Brenda McSweeney, Allan Keating Original music by Cloud Castle Lake
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