Restorative Justice, Desistance and Trauma-Informed Practice in the Youth Justice System
Trauma-informed practice involves understanding the impact of trauma on an individual’s life and how trauma has a direct impact on behaviour. It is an approach that has been implemented in various sectors such as education, health and the justice system. There appears to be a direct link between trauma and crime whereby the majority of those who offend in the UK have experienced trauma such as abuse and neglect during their childhood or adult life. It follows, therefore, that it is vital for trauma-informed practice to be implemented in the justice system as this may enable the future desistance of offenders and consequently reduce crime. Using restorative justice as an approach, this article will demonstrate the impact of trauma-informed practice on offending. This article, therefore, explores key principles around restorative justice and examines how trauma-informed practice that adopts a restorative approach may tackle issues around the wellbeing of young offenders and their desistance as well as the victims of their offending behaviour.
Keywords: restorative justice; trauma-informed practice; justice system; desistance; deviance; young people.
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