In conversation with Ian Marder

Published: Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Why me?’s Trevor Watson spoke to Dr Ian Marder, a lecturer in criminology at Maynooth University, who specialises in Restorative Justice.

Watch their ten minute video below:

Key Points

  • Ian did his PhD in the use of Restorative Justice by police in two english forces, and has done significant work and research about Restorative Justice.
  • COVID-19 led to him having to teach his Masters course on Restorative Justice online. Ian prefers his lectures to be as restorative and interactive as possible, and he has been able to use circle processes with students online.
  • Ian believes that the impact of COVID-19 could “go either way” for Restorative Justice. He’s aware that many Governments and criminal justice agencies see Restorative Justice as a “nice to have” which could be impacted if finances are stretched. However, he also sees the argument that, if the justice system is already releasing lots of people from prison, due to COVID-19, there may be some financial savings due to the reduced prison population. This could be in opportunity to argue that Restorative Justice is worth investing in, and could be a good way to address part of the backlog of cases faced by the courts.
  • Ian thinks that the development of online mediation due to COVID-19 could bring some long term benefits. Some people may prefer to go through Restorative Justice online, even when face to face options become available again. While he certainly wouldn’t want this to become the default option, restorative providers learning how to provide this adjustment may be useful for some cases.





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