Across Europe, restorative justice has gained acceptance as a way of resolving disputes and mitigating the harm of crime in the community. Practitioners have also begun to coordinate restorative meetings in prisons in an effort to reduce the harms of victimisation and to encourage desistance from crime.
This book provides a comprehensive evaluation of Building Bridges, a programme of restorative meetings between victims and prisoners in seven European countries. The authors first describe how participation affected victims and offenders. Then, through case studies in three countries, they frame the social-ecological contexts of the programmes, discussing the organisational and socio-political factors that influenced how these programmes were delivered and what is necessary for them to be sustained.
Funded by the European Commission, this evaluation is essential reading for practitioners and policy-makers interested in restorative justice and prisons. It offers important insights into the potential of restorative approaches for victims and offenders and reveals the organisational and cultural obstacles to be overcome before restorative justice is a regular feature of prisons in Europe.