Nelson Leader : September 12th 2013
3 THE NELSON LEADER, SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 NEWS R R Re e ea a ad d de e errrs s sh h hiiip p p 5556269AA NELSON RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION INCORPORATED See & hear them BEFORE YOU VOTE HEAR the 2013 Candidates A Unique Opportunity ! at the TRAFALGAR CENTRE Tues. 17 September from 7.00pm Admission by Donation to defray costs 5483402AJ Restorative justice work can continue Healing justice: Nelson Restorative Justice Services staff Di Fleming, left, Mark Rutledge and Lois Palmer have won the contract to keep doing restorative justice in Nelson. Photo: MARION VAN DIJK THE FIGURES During the past five years 415 restorative justice conferences have been held in the Nelson region. Restorative Justice has collected and paid $146,791 in reparation to victims. Offenders have completed 3941 hours of community work. Offenders have donated $12,9122to charities. Nelson Restorative Jus- tice Services has won the contract to keep pro- viding restorative justice in the Nelson area until July 2015. Co-ordinator Mark Rutledge said NRJS had provided services since 2000 in the area that serviced the Nelson District Court. It provided restorative justice for crimes that varied from wil- ful damage to manslaughter. Mark said that under a new government process large con- tracts had to go out to tender. He was pleased that NRJS, a non-profit trust, could keep pro- viding the service. Restorative justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the community. Victims take an active role in the process, and offenders are encouraged to take respons- ibility for their actions. Many indigenous societies have traditionally used a form of restorative justice. Mark said that first and fore- most restorative justice aimed at giving victims a voice and personal input into the justice system. Through the system the victim was able to tell their story in a way that validated them and the effects the crime had on them. This could be a powerful moment and help the victim who could be alienated under the tra- ditional justice system. The system was also about helping the offender to under- stand what harm they had cau- sed, who had been affected and then explore what the victims needed to do to help them not re- offend. Mark said tasks were set for the offender to do. Those tasks first addressed the harm caused to the victim and then anybody else who had been affected by their offending. Addressing the harm to the wider community was explored and then what tasks or remedial actions the offender needed to help them not re-offend. Tasks were monitored to con- firm they had been accomplished. Once offenders had been through the restorative justice system they went back to the court system and had their eventual outcome decided by the court or judge. Mark said the feedback the service received from the victims and offenders showed the impact the system had. One offender wrote: It made me realise what kind of person that I was going to become if I carried on the way I was going.'' One victim wrote that restora- tive justice was a safe, non- judgmental environment which is important for people like myself who are not practised at being on the wrong side of the law''. Another wrote that they will remember the lad in question telling us he will never offend again''.
September 5th 2013
September 19th 2013