The Project was focused on Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, but nevertheless it has a strong European dimension through its activities.
The Project was designed as a combination of comparative studies about the application of Restorative Justice practices in addressing juvenile delinquency in the Baltic States and direct cooperation among probation and other institutions working with juveniles.
Objectives of the project were as follows:
- to work towards creating a more favourable legal and social environment for an increasing effective presence of RJ practices in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia;
- to raise awareness among law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders about the positive impacts of RJ vs. juvenile delinquency within the criminal justice system;
- to enhance mutual knowledge and develop further cooperation in the field of Restorative Justice within the Baltic region and beyond by identifying the best practices and initiatives in the field of Restorative Justice as a response to youth crime in other parts of Europe;
- to stimulate the inclusion of the Baltic States in the information flow of RJ developments and to create a fruitful interaction among countries going through the initial stages of RJ development, in particular in the field of juvenile delinquency.
In the past six years there has been some evidence of the presence of restorative justice in the Baltic countries, however the process is in its initial stage and particularly focused on adult offenders. The leading idea of the project was the necessity to recognize and identify challenges and possibilities for combining youth protection philosophy and restorative justice elements in these countries, as well to prevent the criminalization of juveniles. During the project the existing obstacles were identified that existed in the current legal framework, as well activities were performed to overcome resistance among professionals in the criminal justice system and to increase societal support to creating a strong presence of Restorative Justice as a key approach to juvenile delinquency in Latvia and other Baltic States. The project activities were undertaken a purpose of disseminating information about Restorative Justice philosophy, to clarify benefits which could be gained by the application of Restorative Justice techniques in practice, to educate and inform law enforcement agencies, victims, and the general public about the idea of Restorative Justice (to repair harm, restore justice and change the behaviour of young offenders preventing them from being lost to their families and local communities). It is important for our societies to learn new ways of dealing with conflicts and crime, which would increase the satisfaction of victims and enable young offenders to take responsibility and decrease the overall fear of the crime in the society.
An international conference (basic information in Latvian, attached conference presentations in English) was organized in November 25-26, 2009 for the presentation and dissemination of project results as well as to enhance mutual knowledge and to develop cooperation in the field of Restorative Justice within the Baltic States and beyond.
Activities implemented throughout the project and recommendations developed provided valuable lessons and mobilized the involved stake holders to work to achieve a positive change towards a more substantial presence of Restorative Justice in the Baltic States. The sustainability of the project results will be achieved through further activities of the State Probation Service and the Providus. In line with the said recommendations both organizations will continue to exert influence on the political agenda to secure a more favourable legal enviroment for the presence of Restorative Justice in Latvia.
Within the project a research was conducted which you can read here.
The project’s partners were:
|The project has been done with the financial support of Criminal Justice programme of European Commission General Directorate – Justice – Freedom and Security – within the framework of project “Restorative Justice in the Aspect of Juvenile Delinquency: Baltic States in European Dimension.”|
|This project has been developed with the support of the “Europe for Citizens” Programme of the European Union. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.|
|This publication has been created by State budget programme “NGO co-financing of the budget programme” within the funding of Society Integration Foundation.|