07 May, 2010

Understanding the "outcomes" of a restorative process

 It seems to me that it would be helpful to encourage people to consider and report the outcomes comprehensively.  And it will be helpful if those responsible for implementing RP can articulate the real outcomes -  they will need to be able to tell 'the full story' of what was achieved.
From the examples given in the workshop, outcomes can be
  • actions - "apologise", "shake hands", "make restitution", "forgive", "reconcile", "vent"...
  • experiences - belonging, being heard
  • changed relationships - changes in the way in which particular people interact with self and others during and following the meeting
  • learning and insights - a better understanding of how the world and people are, and how they work: cause and effect, flow-on effects, the experiences of others, similarities, differences, motivations,...
  • attitudes - beliefs and feelings that guide judgements and actions in relation to self, others and property
  • life chances - the ability to access opportunities that lead to success and well-being for
  • ...         (these are the one I have managed to identify so far)
And outcomes also need to be considered on a timeline:
  • immediate - e.g., concludes the issue
  • short-term - e.g., retains student at school, avoid the courts, improves the relationship between the student and others,... 
  • long term - life chances - improved likelihood of success and well being
And finally the outcomes will be unique for each of the parties involved: each offender; victim, supporter.... and all need to be considered and accounted for.