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Preventing Violent Radicalisation In Criminal Justice Settings: A Restorative Justice Approach

On the 23rd and 24th of September 2022, Dr. Theo Gavrielides will convene a CPD training session for criminal justice professionals on whether there is a restorative way to prevent radicalisation! In the run up to the sessions, this blog post goes in depth on the role Restorative Justice can play in the criminal justice system.

For more information on the sessions, and to book your place click here!


On Restorative and Restorative Dialogue

Restorative justice, a concept which has gained popularity over the last years, has steadily become an emerging tool for preventing violent radicalisation and extremism. This is due to its underlying principles of power-sharing, equality, dignity and respect – all of which can be applied to criminal justice settings and have actively formed restorative justice practices and restorative dialogical methods. 

Whereas Restorative dialogue places community engagement and empowerment in the spotlight and through its several practical approaches helps those at risk to develop greater resilience against violence – thereby breaking the circle of violence!

The “Restorative Dialogue against Violent Radicalisation” (RDaVR) project aims to shape prevention strategies which are based on restorative justice, as well as equip professionals working in formal (e.g. prisons, probation, police) and informal (e.g. in the community) criminal justice settings on how to recognize and prevent radicalisation.

Why Restorative Justice can be useful in the response radicalisation

Research and evidence so far already indicates the value of restorative justice principles and practices regarding radicalisation. Now initiating from the concept of radicalisation (amongst the various definitions), it is generally accepted that there is a process and sequence of events potentially leading to extremism, as young individuals remain the most vulnerable group of society. Extremism can take many forms and shapes, but overall is a problem with profound social impact. Therefore, it is essential for states and communities to involve multiple authorities in the fight against violent radicalisation. And, more importantly, equip all competent professionals with vital skills, values, practices and methods. Especially considering that professionals will be able to spark young people’s interest in expressing themselves, their thoughts and worries in positive, non-violent ways.

Efforts in Europe

There are multiple preventative models against violent radicalisation and extremism across Europe, which highlight the intense efforts to progress to a more positive prevention framework based on restorative justice. TRIVALENT in Italy, Strategic Plan (PEN-LCRV) in Spain, R2PRIS in Romania, Our Shared Future in Ireland and YEIP in the UK are only some of the examples which focus on empowering frontline staff with restorative justice values and helping them promote within their working groups integration, cohesion, dialogue and pro-social identity. 


This blog was written by one of RJ4ALL’s amazing interns Sofia, who is working on the RDaVR project. If you would like to intern for RJ4ALL and have the chance to be working on any of our exciting projects click here!

Don’t forget to book your place for the free CPD accredited training sessions here!

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