Community Mediation   Community Mediation
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Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a method of addressing the harm caused by crime that is expanding within the UK and worldwide.

Taking part in RJ is a not an easy option for those involved. It encourages those who have caused harm to acknowledge the impact of what they have done and gives them an opportunity to help make amends. It also enables the person harmed to explain the effect of their harm or loss, to hear an apology and to have some say in how the harm can be repaired. In resolving the harm done in a just and fair way RJ works to prevent it happening again.

All RJ processes have the same basic aim and structure: they are designed to enable those involved to speak openly and honestly about…

  • The Facts what happened and why.
  • The Consequences how people have been affected.
  • The Future: how the harm can be addressed and prevented from happening again.

Restorative Justice in Shetland

Locally, RJ is operated by the Community Mediation Team – CAB – Shetland. The service is free, independent and confidential.In Shetland there is an RJ service available to both children and adults and referrals are made at the discretion of the Children’s reporter and Procurator Fiscal.

RJ is a voluntary process; once we have given people information on the service it is their choice whether to take part. Only those who take responsibility for their part in causing harm to another and genuinely want to make amends are suitable to participate. If the person responsible decides to take part the person harmed is also contacted and given the opportunity to take part in the process. Dependent on circumstances, the people involved may choose to meet, communicate via the RJ worker or by letter.

Our experience has shown us that taking part in the RJ process can result in those involved feeling much better about themselves. After fully addressing harm done, people can have a real sense of closure, allowing them to move forward.


'Space2face' is a restorative arts project working with people involved in offending behaviour and is a unique project in Scotland. It has been represented at several national and international conferences. The project is jointly managed by Shetland Arts and the Community Mediation Team with a steering group which additionally includes: the police, Befriending mentoring scheme, Children’s Rights Officer, Adult Learning (Shetland Islands Council), Criminal Justice Social Work (Shetland Islands Council), and Victim Support

Project History

A space2face pilot project was commenced in 2009 with funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Community Safety Partnership (now Board) in Shetland, and Shetland Arts. Three professional artists were recruited and trained to work alongside young people who were responsible for causing harm. The artists enabled them to create a gift of artwork for the person/s they had harmed.

Due to the success of the first pilot project and feedback from participants, funding was obtained from BBC Children in Need to run a second pilot project which recruited an artist as an Arts and Restorative Justice Worker employed part-time within the Community Mediation Team. During these two pilot years, referrals came through the office of the Children’s Reporter and Criminal Justice Social Work. Space2face worked with 26 referrals and many more people harmed through offending behaviour.

Offences have included assault, cyber bullying, theft, breach of the peace, fraud and vandalism. Art forms involved in creating the gifts for people harmed have included: photography, textiles, mixed media, writing, mural painting, candle making and graffiti art.


Since 2011, space2face has been doing outreach work and looking at ways of letting more people know about the service we offer. We have recently been successful in applying for funding from Creative Scotland Arts and Community Justice Fund to run the next phase of space2face until 2015. The project has also been extended to include preventative work and work with adults. Two space2face artists have recently been appointed and will be undergoing training to commence work shortly.


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