This book provides a unique account of the high-profile community-based restorative justice projects in the Republican and Loyalist communities that have emerged with the ending of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Unprecedented new partnerships between Republican communities and the Police Service of Northern Ireland have developed, and former IRA and UVF combatants and political ex prisoners have been amongst those involved. Community restorative justice projects have been central to these groundbreaking changes, acting as both facilitator and transformer.
Based on an extensive range of interviews with key players in this process, many of them former combatants, and unique access to the different community projects this books tells a fascinating story. At the same time this book explores the wider implications for restorative justice internationally, highlighting the important lessons for partnerships between police and community in other jurisdictions, particularly in the high-crime alienated neighbourhoods which exist in most western societies, as well as transitional ones. It also offers a critical analysis of the roles of both community and state and the tensions around the ownership of justice, and a critical, unromanticized assessment of the role of restorative justice in the community.
Anna Eriksson is a Lecturer in Criminology at Monash University, Australia. Her research interests include restorative justice, transitional justice, crime prevention in high-crime communities, cultures of violence, social control in post-conflict societies, comparative penology, and scandinavian exceptionalism.
Foreword by Kieran McEvoy Introduction 1. Restorative justice: an introduction 2. Restorative justice in transition and the case for criminology 3. Paramilitaries and vigilantes: punitive populism as social control 4. The beginning of CRJI and Alternatives: legitimizing restorative justice in a punitive community 5. The practice of community restorative justice in Northern Ireland 6. Volunteers and practitioners: leadership in a culture of violence 7. State-community partnerships in transition: a question of trust 8. The road less travelled: policing and partnerships in transition. Conclusion: Rethinking restorative justice. Appendix A: Paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. Appendix B: Timeline for key events and governement documents relating to community restorative justice in Northern Ireland