Youth Justice: Exploring good practice

Published: Thursday, November 17th, 2022

This blog is written by our Restorative Justice Development Officer (Youth Justice), Leah Robinson. 


As part of our Youth Justice Project, project lead Leah Robinson has written a Good Practice Guide for Youth Justice Services (YJSs) as a culmination of the work done over the past two years. We have compiled our learnings into one report so practitioners within the Youth Justice sector can gain knowledge from the project and implement the recommendations that have come out of it. We will also be holding a free online event to showcase our work and highlight findings from the Guide. 

The project has involved partnerships with three Youth Justice Services, Prospects in Gloucestershire, Lambeth Youth Offending Service and Lancashire Child and Youth Justice Service. Each partnership involved Why me? conducting a deep dive into the Restorative Justice (RJ) and restorative practices within the service. We examined the services’ policies, procedures and processes in terms of victim contact and RJ and met with various members of staff to highlight any disparity between theory and practice. We conducted a data analysis and interviewed young people and victims of crime to hear first-hand accounts of RJ and restorative practice within the service. We also administered a skills audit to learn about the staff’s knowledge, training, and experience of RJ. Each partnership culminated with our writing and presenting a report based on our key findings and recommendations, as well as delivering bespoke training catered to the needs of each service.

These partnerships have each been very successful and we are grateful to all three services for their time and effort. 

The partnership has helped to steer our approach as a service. It has been useful to gain an independent view of our strengths and areas for development.

We are writing a Good Practice Guide for Youth Justice Services, based on these partnerships as well as the other work we have done with restorative practitioners within the Youth Justice sector over the past two years. The Guide will focus on our recommendations for YJSs in terms of RJ and restorative practice. These will fall under the following headings: 

  • Making the offer of Restorative Justice
  • Offences without a direct victim
  • Letters of explanation
  • Restorative Justice worker
  • Trauma-informed practice
  • Data collection and recording
  • Victim and Restorative Justice policy

We will be holding a free event following the publication of our Youth Justice Good Practice Guide on Wednesday 7th December, 2 pm-3.30 pm. The event will disseminate the learning from the Youth Justice project and recommendations within the Good Practice Guide. The event will allow attendees the opportunity to ask questions in order for them to have the knowledge and confidence to implement best practice in their restorative work.

To sign up for our event ‘Youth Justice: Exploring Good Practice’, please visit the event page here.

© 2022 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.