We saw real breakthrough in the lives of 7 young people recently when they, along with their parents, attended a face to face restorative justice meeting with staff from a bakery shop. The youngsters were part of a larger group identified by CCTV as having been involved in a burglary and the handling of stolen goods worth £200. Items including drinks, cakes and sweets had been consumed and thrown about the service yard at the rear of the premises. Some of the young people had previously been in to the shop to apologise, having felt embarrassed about what they had done, whilst others had avoided going back.
The ‘lightbulb moment’ in the meeting was when the young people recognised the risk they had caused to the staff and the implications for them if the matter had been pursued by prosecution rather than through restorative justice. They took the opportunity to apologise to the two staff members for the damage and agreed not to do it again at any of the premises in the shopping precinct where the bakery is located. The young people also took part in a local litter pick arranged by the Youth Offending Service.
In feedback gathered since, one of the young people now “realises how easy it is to go down the wrong track.” Another said that going through the process was a “good way of correcting ways of thinking and doing things, and a good way of reconnecting with community.” One delighted parent commented that “I thought the process was very successful especially for the age group” and that the “volunteers did a great job with a good outcome.”
For more information on ROC Restore or to get involved contact [email protected]