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Restorative Approaches Within Forensic Mental Health Systems

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Restorative Approaches Within Forensic Mental Health Systems

Background

“All I want to do is be able to speak to my family, but they won’t answer my

calls, it’s been two years”  ‘Rosa’ who stabbed her two children to death whilst

experiencing psychotic depression

“He hasn’t contacted me, I just want to know if he’s sorry for what happened,

and I want to see him again” ‘Joan”, who’s son seriously assaulted her whilst acutely

unwell.

 

“Restorative justice is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offence* and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible”.(Zehr, 2002, p.37)

Restorative justice has been practiced for a number of years in a range of settings, and is a set of principles which seeks to guide the comprehensive repair of harm committed by one person upon another (Cook, Drennan & Callanan, 2015).  Restorative approaches have not been utilised within Forensic Mental Health Systems (FMHS) but would appear to have much to offer patients and those who have been harmed in some way through an act of violence.

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