Victim Liaison Conference

Victim Liaison Conference
Mediation Support -Restorative Technology Ltd presentation followed this one on 15th July 2011

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Communities taking responsibility for the riots and crime in their area via YouTube, and twitter-fed Restorative Justice initiative in London

The title of this blog post is the front page of the Evening Standard that I am envisioning. Pipe dream? Maybe? Worth working on further; you bet!
Here, from 2010, is the start of the first iteration:

Jailbrake 2010 from The People Speak on Vimeo.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Open and honest project review

Reporting back to NESTA on the Reboot Britain project Common Ground (as at which became SafeGround which was put in place in Devon Youth Offending Team as SafeSpace

What undermined the potential success of a prize-winning idea:
1) Low confidence by the pilot site's staff in the technology being straightforward enough & working well
2) Low levels of creativity in its use & an insufficiently shared vision by pilot site staff to prioritise its use above competing demands on the time of those staff.
3) A deficit either of active promotion by pilot site staff to users of the benefits or of the agreed record keeping about to whom it was being offered to & what their response was.
4) Unwillingness by the staff to change working practices so that those victims and offenders wanting to communicate are not necessarily accompanied in each stage of this communication by the physical presence of a mediator/ restorative justice practitioner.
5) A user group (victims and offenders) with a generally low level of commitment to communication with the related victim(s)/offender(s) for “their crime”.
6) A Restorative Technology Limited “Team” without the strength, focus, flexibility & resources to adjust well to the above factors.

And here's the fuller review of this first Restorative Technology Ltd  innovation in victim-offender-community-communication.
Thomas Edison tried many times before getting the electric light bulb good enough....

Restorative Technology Ltd mock recording of victim's concerns for uploading:

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

1st anniversary of the Hastings Pier Fire -today

And here is the press piece about the meeting tonight:
And follow this link to the films shown and the films made from the participants.
You have until the 23rd October, but please save me much stress & give another 2-4minutes now to registering & then voting for:

-and how many friends/networks have you nudged/encouraged/ set-alight?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Bringing award-winning technology to heal harm in St Leonards on Sea

The version of the victim-offender video-messaging system that is provided primarily for Sussex, though is also usable by anyone in the UK wanting a restorative process is
Restorative Technology Limited is now pleased to be working within the context of St Leonards Sharing Consortium:

-and the full interview with Jo Nodding:

Friday, 15 July 2011

Pan-London Victim Liaison Conference - the feedback after the SafeSpace presentation

This event was on 15th July 2011 event at the Met Police HQ in West Brompton and has led to a stream of YOT bookings for training in using SafeSpace (and discussing the associated practicve issues, risks of using it & the risks of not-using new technologies for restorative processes:

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

SafeSpace screenshots with Victim Impact Statements as video-messages

Here's a presentation shown at the Restorative Justice Practitioners Network Day, 13th July 2011 on the Mediation Support Ltd stand.
Trainings available as below film:

Enhanced restorative practice
through moderated video messaging
and other electronic communications.

A training provided to YOTs, with a bespoke website available, arising from winning the 2010 Social Innovation Camp for the web/mobile technology most likely to reduce youth custody and youth offending.
The judges of who awarded the work first prize were from:

  • The Youth Justice Board,
  • The Police Improvement Agency,
  • The Prison Reform Trust
  • Foyer Housing Federation.

The training is provided by Restorative Technology Ltd & Mediation Support Ltd Director, Paul Crosland.

The costs to have a day's training is usually just transport & accommodation; though with a YOT that might more easily become a partner agency using our video-messaging and text-messaging system, these costs will be waived.

For more clarification, ring Paul on 0780 70 66 202 or email

The blog about these innovations is at and a parallel site to the YOT enabled site is provided for the residents of Hastings (in the wake of the fire on the Pier last October) on

Be informed of what is a major potential for community-wide restorative processes, and make more informed decisions about the benefits and issues in offering a wider menu of communication options to your clients.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Seeking clarity of the law in relation to mediating in the wake of no CPS charges eg Hastings Pier

> To Amber Rudd, MP
> House of Commons
> Dear Amber
> We met at your surgery this morning at Leonie's; which I came to in order to follow up my letter in 10th June Observer: "We need to act if we want justice" .
> I copy this letter to my work email, my sometime colleagues and to the chair of the HPWRT, in order that he may update the Trustees on this justice issue.
> A major obstacle to communication between those who were on the pier on 5th October 2011 and the wider community is the lack of clarity around the legal status of what they would disclose. Firstly, would the mediation service involved have an obligation to disclose certain information to the police? Secondly, would any attempt at communication -through whatever channels- risk prosecution? A letter from a minister, the attorney general and/or the CPS is what I'm seeking for clarification, so that I may then provide it to those who were on the pier that night, and we progress from there.
> Many victims and communities across the UK experience a lack of power when the CPS case is dropped pre-court or even a case collapsing in court. Enabling more "victims" in these circumstances to have recourse to mediation would be a great way forward in strengthening the Big Society. At present, it would be unlikely that any individuals who have <got-off> would risk communicating with their accusers, because the risks are not yet clear and the benefits of restorative justice processes are generally not well-communicated to those accused of crimes.
> As I said in my letter, it may be years before those on the pier that night are ready for the communication about what they did, why they did it and what they are going to do to address the impact on the community.
> This process will be further delayed if there is not the basic level of clarity for all involved in mediation about the legal position of the communications being had.
> Now that that communication is moving more to the internet, with "victims" uploading video statements and "offenders" uploading apology messages, it is more than timely for Hastings to lead in getting clarity around the legal position of internet communications involving mediation services.
> If there is to be no immunity from prosecution for things disclosed during a mediation/restorative justice process, at least all will know where they stand in their choices whether or not to answer the questions being asked of them by the community and take other reparative actions requested of them.
> Amongst those working with me to get communications to those on the pier that night is Ray Chapman, HPWRT chair; a video of his to these individuals having just been published (9th May) on
> This matter will hang over a number of lives for some-time to come, so clarity is for the well-being of all.
> I omitted to ask you this morning for any advice on the funding opportunities for voluntary sector and social enterprise work in restorative justice, seeking, as does the best work, in my opinion to:
> -repair harm
> -restore dignity
> & re-integrate into a community that cares.
> (The reduced offending evidence is clear and available separately.)
> My funding from the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts to pursue the video messaging and mediated text-based messaging sits under the name heading Restorative Technology Ltd. This funding is almost at an end, yet my passion to build dialogue about what kinds of justice we want in the community in which we live does not run out.
> Yours sincerely
> Paul Crosland
> CEO, Mediation Support Ltd
> Southwater Area Community Centre,
> 2 Stainsby Street,
> St Leonards On Sea,
> East Sussex,
> TN37 6LA
> SUBSCRIBE to free updates from Mediation Support Ltd:

Friday, 10 June 2011

Hastings Pier Fire grievance - does Restorative Technology fit yet?

Today's watershed: Will an allegedly aggrieved local population take the opportunity to use the SafeGround idea?

SUBSCRIBE to free updates  from Mediation Support Ltd:

And please TELL anyone who may have any kind of difficulty with another person that they could get a free 'conflict make-over' -or powerful new perspective on what's perpetuating any problem & how to move forward- in just 30 minutes on-line via
(a UK-wide service run by Mediation Support Ltd)
Life's short; compose your quarrels. (from The Dhammapada)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The hypotheses and concerns

The hypothesis of Restorative Technology:

The status quo ante, or assumed pre-existing situation:
That restorative practitioners working in Youth Offending Teams offer opportunities for victims and offenders to communicate by face-to-face meetings or by letters (or verbal messages) that are delivered by the practitioner, usually in person and sometimes over the phone.
(Examples are known from earlier times of VHS video cassettes of an "offender" being recorded for the "victim" and shown to them). The idea isn't new; just the technogical opportunities and comfort of people using the technology changes.

My  hypothesis is that restorative practitioners who have confidence in (& commitment to) offering a wider range of ways for victims and offenders to communicate than this i.e. through mediated video-messaging or through opening a channel of mediated text-based messaging will achieve a higher rate of take-up of restorative communication.

Secondly, a number of individuals (victims and offenders) through video and text messaging will then want a meeting facilitated by a restorative practitioner.

If the time taken by staff in learning how to offer this wider range of services and the cost of providing the technology of video and text messaging amounts to less than the benefits to Youth Offending Teams, it would be logical for YOTs to encourage staff to use video and text-based messaging. 

A website systematically showing the experience of other users of restorative processes (eg. by offence type) could enable informed client choice in a way that saves YOT staff time.

However, the funding arrangments of YOTs do not reward higher levels of engagement with Restorative Processes, so the YOTs that will engage with this will be doing so for some combination of the following reasons:
1) believe in the intrinsic benefits of increasing the clients range of choices about participating in restorative communication
2)  a way to reduce the staff time allocated to Restorative Justice, by offering ways of communicating that require less staff time.
Restorative Technology Ltd supports restorative practitioners to offer mediated video-messaging and mediated text-messaging in the expectation that these will lead to more people engaging in restorative processes and more people wanting facilitated face-to-face meetings.

If YOTs do not offer to facilitate more face-to-face meetings, many clients will still have gained some clarity (answers to questions around the event), some reassurance, some personal growth, some knowledge which will help their future safety, some closure (or whatever other needs arose from the crime), and other benefits of communication.

More widely, the hypothesis adopts and amends the following equation: I=PxAxT, which is about sustainability and population:
The Impact (I) on the world's sustainability system is equal to the population (P) multiplied by the affluence (A) multiplied by the type of technology (T) that the population is using. 
called The Population Explosion.
If I have the mindfulness to successfully link the technology and the values together I'll have an impact on the safety of society which is my goal is a restorative practitioner. So the equation now runs as follows: The Impact of Restorative Work = The value base of individuals, interacting with Restorative Mindfulness, interacting with the technology chosen by each to enable the communication.
The above equation discussion is taken from a discussion between two restorative practitioners here.