Vision, Mission and Objectives

Facing Forward was established in 2005 in response to gaps in the Irish criminal justice system and to support the introduction of restorative approaches based on best practice that has emerged in other countries.

Our management committee is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds including mediation, criminal justice, community development, and peace and reconciliation work. We are a member based, voluntary organisation.

Vision

Healing the trauma experienced by serious crime through restorative justice processes

Mission

To offer Restorative practices which create opportunities for all those impacted by crime to work together to repair the harm done.

Objectives

  1. To establish, develop and manage projects and programmes demonstrating transformative Restorative Justice models at different levels within or alongside the Criminal Justice system in Ireland
  2. To provide high standard education and training from leading practitioners in the field of conflict transformation and Restorative Justice
  3. To develop best practice models of Restorative Justice in an Irish context, drawing on international models that are being used successfully at all stages of criminal justice processes, and with a wide range of offences including serious crime
  4. To establish working partnerships with groups that work with people who have experienced crime, groups that work with people who have been responsible for crime, Criminal Justice stakeholders, and Government, statutory and community agencies
  5. To undertake research to assess the potential for restorative practice in new areas and to document the outcomes and learning from Restorative Justice work
  6. To disseminate information about Restorative Justice to a wider audience through publishing articles and reports and organising meetings and seminars
  7. To identify and promote policy changes required to better support Restorative Justice in Ireland, and conduct public advocacy to influence the mainstreaming of restorative practices within the criminal justice system.

A note about language

“Restorative justice is a process whereby parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implication for the future”.

The power of restorative justice lies in its humanising potential and sometimes labels get in the way. In our research and our work generally, we try to use language which respects the dignity of each individual regardless of their behaviour and where they might be in the criminal justice system. So in our written material we refer to ‘people who have experienced crime’ and ‘people who have been responsible for crime’. Rather than victims and offenders However, labels can be useful to distinguish between the different roles that people have within the criminal justice and to use the language that’s consistent with that used in the criminal justice system. On our website we use these terms where appropriate.The same applies to my use of the word “serious crime”

  1. The only person who can determine the seriousness of a crime is the person who has directly affected
  2. Even crimes that do not attract custodial sentences may have a devastating affect on an individual
  3. In this presentation, when I use the term ‘serious crime’ I mean the crimes which attract the most severe sentences such as: serious assault, rape and other sexual crimes and murder