We had a break-in in our inner north house last year, though the police caught the three 15-16yo boys who did it within a couple of days when they were attempting the same thing in an adjacent suburb. Our stolen property was returned shortly thereafter (great job AFP!). Months later, we’ve now received a letter from the ACT Restorative Justice Unit saying that one of the three “has taken responsibility and is sorry for what he did. He … would be willing to meet you in a restorative justice conference… [to] provide you with a safe way to tell the offender how you feel about his action and also you would have a say in how he can make amends for the effect it has had on you”.
I’d be interested to know if any other Rioters have had experience of the RJ system and whether it worked for you? We’re in two minds on whether to take it up – not so interested if it’s just a way for youngsters to tick a box to help them get off lightly, but if one of them is actually trying to face up to himself and turn things around, I’d be happy to help move that process along.
We’re not necessarily looking to recover full cost of damage and loss but it would be nice if he could make it up to our kids somehow. Wonder if the other two offenders are going to take up the option as well? Someone told me that the RJ process is specifically intended for indigenous youth, but haven’t seen anything to that effect on ACT Govt websites.
Any thoughts? Informed comment preferred, and generic RA lynchmob comments to a minimum please!