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At RJ4All, we like to be brave and innovative. Building on the idea of “restorative justice cities” we embark on an exciting journey to build the world’s first restorative justice postcode! This local initiative is linked with our global effort to boost restorative justice as a world social justice movement. To this end, we connected this programme with our International Restorative Justice Pledge. 


Our Vision

Basic Principles and Rationale of the Programme

RJ4All strongly believes that the root causes of societal problems such as poverty, disadvantage and inequality are found in the abuse of power, whether this resides within individuals, institutions, or governments. We also have evidence to believe that public trust in public services is declining and that a new social contract between communities and governments is needed 

Designed through a user-led methodology and by involving our local community from the outset, this pioneering project is built on the principle that sustainable community cohesion and resilience require structural and systemic changes at a local level. Key principles of the programme include empowering local communities to take part in decisions affecting their lives and ensuring service delivery is community-led through power-sharing and decision-making.  It utilises a restorative justice ethos not only to prevent and reduce harm but also as a way of life, promoting solutions-focused and future-oriented approaches.  

The programme is designed and owned by the community, ensuring it is tailored to their specific needs and contexts, emphasising community ownership. At RJ4All, we do what it says on the tin “restorative justice for all”. Our model is not for us to own, but for diverse communities to use with our support.   

Our vision

Our vision is to establish the world’s first restorative justice postcode, addressing the deep-rooted issues of power abuse and declining public trust in Southeast London. This pioneering initiative, launched on January 1, 2023, after extensive preparation and community engagement, aims to create a new social contract between communities and governments. By utilising restorative justice principles such as power-sharing, equality, dignity, respect, and participatory decision-making, the project seeks to foster a more equitable distribution of local power and address harm through restorative justice practices. 

 

Our vision is for key stakeholders, including voluntary, community, private, and public services, to commit to restorative justice values through a Restorative Justice Postcode Memorandum of Understanding, ensuring that these principles guide their daily practices. We aim for them to actively collaborate in alleviating poverty, reducing crime, supporting young people, celebrating diversity, and repairing harm based on the principles and practices of restorative justice. 

Narrated by RJ4All’s Founder and Director Dr. Theo Gavrielides, the video (5 minutes) articulates his vision of building the world’s first restorative justice postcode.

In this transformative model, community members’ voices are amplified, and conflicts are resolved through dialogue rather than adversarial methods, promoting a cohesive and empowered community where people feel included in decision-making processes that impact them. 

What does success look like? Five-year outcomes

By the end of the 5-year project period: 

Community cohesion is improved through a more equal distribution of local power, and the implementation of the restorative justice values of power-sharing, equality, dignity, respect and involvement in decision-making. 

Poverty and disadvantage leading to community tensions and violence are reduced through the provision of a holistic, local offer (e.g. foodbank, physical and mental health services, education and volunteering). 

Recorded crime and anti-social behaviour are reduced through relationship building between local government, the community sector, housing providers, schools and criminal justice agencies as well as between state agents and community members. 

Hate attitudes are reduced through community-based approaches. 

Police and criminal justice case-load is increasingly diverted to community-based approaches such as restorative justice both prior and post-prosecution. 

School conflicts and bullying are reduced through an increase in schools’ knowledge, skills and awareness of restorative justice and peer mediation. 

Residents’ conflicts, gender-based violence and youth crime are reduced starting from the estates surrounding our centre. 

The community’s wellbeing is improved  

What is RJ4All doing to build the first restorative justice postcode?

This is a long-term project, which formally started on the 1st of January 2023. It took us two years of preparation and a history of a total of 10 years of community work to get us to this starting date. We created four interlinked arms to achieve this objective: the RJ4All International Institute, RJ4All Sports, the RJ4All Community Centre (in SE16 London), and RJ4All Publications. 

The Restorative Justice Postcode Steering Group ​

The Steering Group’s primary function is to offer strategic support, guidance, and promotion to the SE16 Restorative Justice Postcode programme. Moreover, it will: 

Learning While Doing Philosophy and Data Collection Process 

The programme is grounded in our “learning while doing” philosophy, which involves continuously gathering data and feedback to refine and improve the initiative. This approach ensures that the project adapts to community needs and leverages real-time learning. Our data collection process is detailed in our Research Protocol, which employs both quantitative and qualitative research methods for robust analysis. Therefore, the programme has an in-built mechanism for ongoing data collection, which has been formally accepted by our Research Ethics Board. This mechanism has led to several impact reports, offering valuable insights and highlighting new learning areas such as new technologies for connections, partnership delivery models, language barriers and misconceptions about restorative justice, the importance of locality for community connections, and strategies to address barriers faced by disengaged groups. 

Our impact

Our quarterly impact report series offers a thorough insight into: 

    1. The Role and Contribution of RJ4All Steering Group: Highlights the vital contributions and activities of the RJ4All steering group, showcasing their pivotal role in guiding and shaping our initiatives.
    2. Updates About Project Development and Adjustment: Provides crucial updates on the progress, evolution, and any adjustments made to ongoing projects. This section ensures transparency and keeps stakeholders informed about the dynamic nature of our work.
    3. Feedbacks, Demands, and Hopes from Community Members: Presents valuable feedback received from community members, capturing their demands and hopes. This section serves as a direct channel for community input, ensuring our initiatives align with the needs and aspirations of those we serve.

These reports serve as invaluable resources for the RJ4All steering group, project development teams, and other stakeholders. By offering a comprehensive overview, they contribute to our mission of establishing the first Restorative Justice Postcode. 

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