Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice (RJ) emerged in the 1970s as an alternative to traditional justice processes.

“Restorative justice is a process of independent, facilitated contact, which supports constructive dialogue between a victim and a person who has harmed (whether this be an adult, a child, a young person or a representative of a corporate or other body) arising from an offence or alleged offence.” 

The key to RJ is that it allows those with a stake in the outcome of a crime related intervention or conflict to communicate in a safe and structured way. This allows people to collaborate on a means to deal with the aftermath of an offence or conflict and its implications for the future.

Read more about RJ.

How CYCJ is supporting Restorative Justice

CYCJ is working with Community Justice Scotland to deliver the Scottish Government’s Restorative Justice Action Plan 2019-2023. CYCJ’s Restorative Justice Coordinator Yvette O’Donnell is currently leading on this, ensuring the rights and needs of children and young people are considered and met throughout this process.

Click here for more updates from the Restorative Justice Stakeholder Group.

To support the development of the Action Plan and related activity, we have created this space to inform and inspire anyone with an interest in restorative justice. Here you can access case studies, Info Sheets, blogs and more, from Scotland and beyond.

For 2020, we also introduced a new section on restorative justice to ‘A Guide to Youth Justice in Scotland: policy, practice and legislation’, our national practice guidance.

We will add to this as we receive new material. If you would like to share resources or examples of restorative justice in action, please contact


Exploring awareness of Restorative Justice amongst school children
CYCJ has conducted research to explore school pupils’ awareness, understanding and attitudes towards Restorative Justice, commissioned by the Scottish Government. Findings are shared in a report by CYCJ researchers Nina Vaswani and Aaron Brown, including children’s understandings of harm, the awareness and acceptability of Restorative Justice, and key messages about the implementation and delivery of Restorative Justice in Scotland. To ensure this research is accessible to a younger audience, a child-friendly version is also available. Read more. 

Raising awareness of Restorative Justice in a Scottish Context
Findings from a Scotland wide survey to raise people’s awareness and understanding of Restorative Justice have been published. The survey – created by Community Justice Scotland (CJS) and the Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice (CYCJ) – featured an animation on Restorative Justice (RJ) in a Scottish context.

People were asked to watch this and then comment on whether it helped raise their awareness and understanding of RJ. Find out more. You can access the easy-read report of the findings here. To obtain a full report, please contact

Out now – Restorative Justice Action Plan Annual Report
The Restorative Justice Action Plan Annual Report 2020-21 is now available – download it here. This was written by CYCJ, the Scottish Government and Community Justice Scotland, with feedback from the RJ Stakeholder Group.

Case Studies

Practitioner Case Studies across Scotland

Enabling participation in restorative justice processes and conversations: Helping everyone to understand, to participate and to have their say: Talking Trouble, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Restorative Justice Arts: Space2face Shetland

Info Sheets and reports

CYCJ Info Sheet: Restorative Circles


Restorative Practice in the Good Shepherd Centre

Language is the key to understanding

Restorative Justice – time for action

Contact Us

Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

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