RoadPeace welcomes guest contributions to our blog from our members and supporters. Here we hear from Sandra Coyne with discussion on restorative justice and how to effectively educate young driving offenders. Many thanks to Sandra for writing this piece.
“I am a Restorative Practice Worker for Birmingham Children’s Trust, Youth Offending Service. I was introduced to RoadPeace by Bina Sandhu, one of the managers within the area team that I am linked to.
As a part of my introduction to RoadPeace, I attended the launch of the West Midlands Anthology at St Martin in the Bull Ring. The whole service was moving and thought-provoking, and one of the lasting memories of this event was the atmosphere. There was a calmness and serenity within the church. The manner in which all the bereaved family members, and supporters, shared the awful and lasting impact of road death, is something that will always remain with me, but also inspire me to do what I can to support.
As a result of my introduction, I spent time talking to Bina and Lucy Harrison (RoadPeace West Midlands Coordinator) about how we can educate young people who have committed motor vehicle offences, to fully understand the ‘Ripple Effect’; and also, how making the wrong choice or decision can and does lead to life-changing impacts. From this discussion, we decided that the West Midlands Anthology was a strong tool to help us work with young people to better understand the impacts, with the intention being in appropriate cases, to progress to proxy face-to-face Restorative Justice meetings. A lot of preparation takes place before this can happen and the young person involved needs to be fully engaged in the process, be accountable for their own actions, and most importantly have the ability to empathise.
To date, we have completed one of these meetings and have another one arranged for early September. The young person who participated in the first session shared afterwards the impact this meeting had on him and was reflective and thoughtful of the wider impacts. He shared that it had made him think about things he hadn’t before, and how his actions could have had significant and life-changing impacts to others and himself. This is our aim – to educate and prevent young people from choices and decision-making that harms others.
In addition to the education of young people, we are looking to introduce reparation as a meaningful intervention for young people who have committed motor vehicle offences. This project is in the early stages, planning has started and is something that will progress and have meaning and purpose.
Myself and my colleague, Michaela Jones, participated in the walk along the canals with the RoadPeace West Midlands Group on the 21st May, it was a beautiful day and such a lovely experience. We both came away with sore feet but uplifted spirits and both felt very privileged to be able to participate.
I am so looking forward to moving this project forward and to working alongside RoadPeace.”
If you have a story you would like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with more details.
Updated on: 29 September 2022