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Restorative Justice Projects

I have been researching and practising restorative justice since 2000. Here, you can find some of my work on this topic. Undoubtedly, my biggest project has been the setting up of the charitable NGO the Restorative Justice for All International Institute, which I now direct.

A multi-year research and educational programme conducted by Dr. Theo Gavrielides, aiming to:


  • explore the role, potential and limitations of restorative justice with preventing and controlling terrorist acts as well as individuals at risk of radicalisation

  • increase awareness around alternative, positive approaches to radicalisation and extremism

  • network and connect researchers, policy makers, practitioners, educationalists and users in the area of radicalisation and restorative justice. 

This project involves the editing of a new book that will bring together contributors from across a range of jurisdictions, disciplines and legal traditions, in order to provide a concise but critical review of existing theory and practice in restorative justice. 

This is an international, research and policy project looking at the potential of restorative justice with "street group violence" such as riots. Through qualitative research analysis, policy development and campaigning, the project aims to explore alternative ways that can genuinely engage group offenders in helping to address the harm caused to group victims.


As part of the project, the following book has been published Gavrielides, T. (2012). Waves of Healing: Using Restorative Justice with Street Group Violence, London: IARS. ISBN 978-1-907641-10-7.


As par of the project, in 2014, Dr. Gavrielides gave a lecture on restorative justice and riots while visiting Chile. To download the presentation and material click here

Following an invitation by the Centre of Mediation and Arbitration of the Law School of the Central University of Chile (Universidad Central) and The Chilean Ministry of Justice, Dr. Theo Gavrielides visited Chile to deliver a series of seminars in Santiago, La Serena and Iquique.

The purpose of the seminars was the development of capacity and knowledge among Chilean criminal justice professionals (judges, prosecutors, lawyers, probation officers etc) in restorative justice for criminal cases.


A public lecture was also delivered in Santiago focusing on riots, group violence and restorative justice. This aimed at increasing awareness of non-punitive responses to group violence particularly those carried out as a result of civil unrest. The Chilean government considered this work in the context of students' demonstrations and riots as well as civil unrest by minorities. To download the presentations and to find out more click here

This multi-year, ground breaking project was initiated by Dr. Gavrielides in January 2013, and it combines theoretical analysis, original fieldwork and social policy development at national and international levelts. Its first findings have been published as part of the peer review book "Crime: International Perspectives, Socioeconomic Factors and Psychological Implications", (2014) Nova Science Publishers, USA. 


The first phase of the project was funded by Buckinghamshire New University. It was based on a literature view and aimed to develop a theoretical framework for the application of positive psychology in the context of restorative justice. This has resulted in Gavrielides, T. and Worth, P. (2013). “Another push for restorative justice: Positive psychology & offender rehabilitation” in Crime: International Perspectives, Socioeconomic Factors and Psychological Implications", USA: Nova Science Publishers. The second phase is also funded by Buckinghamshire New University and will include fieldwork and pilots with partners such as Khulisa UK, the Centro de Mediación y Arbitraje (Central University of Chile), and the Forgiveness Project. Click here for more.

The Restorative Justice for All Institute (RJ4All) carried out a two year evaluation of Khulisa UK's intervention programmes in order to build an evidence base for further practice and solid theoretical development. The work is the result of a successful joint bid with Khulisa to the  Rehabilitation Social Action Fund  funded by the UK Cabinet Office.  Dr. Gavrielides, Co-Director of RJ4All, was the project lead for this programme. 


To achieve their goal, they utilize the Good Lives Model that seeks to achieve the rehabilitation of offenders by nurturing their personal strengths and goals. We are testing this model as well as the programmes' effectiveness against the Cabinet Office's fund objectives. The research programme received approval from the UK Ministry of Justice and in particular the National Research Committee of the National Offender Management Service. To read more click here

The “Restorative Justice in Europe: Safeguarding Victims & Empowering Professionals” (RJE) is a transnational two year project that started on 1st December 2012, and will facilitate the implementation of the Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 or as otherwise known "the Victims' Directive". The Directive establishes minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA. The RJE focuses on the implementation of the restorative justice related articles.


RJE is led by the international, UK-based think-tank Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) and is supervised by Professor Dr. Theo Gavrielides. RJE is delivered in 5 participating countries through a partnership of 5 organisations. These are the Institute of Conflict Resolution (Bulgaria), the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration Bremen (Germany), Restorative Justice Netherlands (the Netherlands) and the European Public Law Organisation (Greece). To find out more click here.

Restorative Justice in cases of domestic violence: Best practice examples between increasing mutual understanding and awareness of specific protection needs’ is a two year EU-funded project that began in February 2014 with a primary emphasis on the European Directive on Minimum Standards of the rights, support and protection of victims of crime. 


Dr. Gavrielides is the UK project lead on behalf of IARS. The findings from the first phase of the project have been published in Loseby G.,Ntziadima A. and Gavrielides T. (2014), Restorative Justice and Domestic Violence: A Critical Review, London: IARS Publications. ISBN: 978-1-907641-28-2.

This was an international project that was funded by the EU (2009-11) and was carried out as part of the "Mediation and restorative justice in prison settings" (MEREPS) project, focusing on the role of restorative justice in prison settings and post sentencing.


Dr. Gavrielides led the UK project on behalf of IARS, focusing on the imprisonment of young people. The findings were included in the book "Restorative Justice & the Secure Estate: Alternatives for Young People in custody"  which was launched on 1 December 2011 in London at a national conference. The UK was one of the MEREPS country partners. Our research aimed to complement the evaluation and pilots that took place in Germany and the parallel research that was undertaken in Hungary so as to allow cross learning and information exchange.

Restoring Relationships Project [2006-2008]

The Restoring Relationships Project (RRP) was a London-wide cooperative initiative, which aimed to help reduce hate crime and its impact. The project started in June 2006 and was run by Dr. Theo Gavrielides on behalf of Race on the Agenda (ROTA), a social policy think-tank that has been active since 1986.


The overall objective of the project was to help reduce hate crime in London through the use of restorative justice and the encouragement of multi-agency partnerships between the Third Sector and crime reduction agencies. In particular:

  • To reduce the potential for hate crime in London boroughs by encouraging stakeholders (e.g. Safer Neighbourhood Teams, criminal justice agencies, Victim Support, Third Sector bodies and faith-based organisations) to concentrate resources on (a) types of hate crime (b) types of victims and perpetrators and (c) geographical areas that are experiencing an increase in hate crime

  • To produce models for short-term conflict resolution and long-term prevention of hate crime.


The findings were published in Gavrielides, T. et al (2008) Restoring Relationships: Addressing hate crime through restorative justice and multi-agency partnerships¸ ROTA: London

Structured around the four concepts of power – race – justice – restorative justice, the book uses empirical new data and normative analysis to reconstruct the way we prevent power abuse and harm at the inter-personal, inter-community and international levels. This book offers new lenses, which allow us to view power, race and justice in a modern reality where communities have been silenced, but through restorative justice are gaining voice. The book is enriched with twenty-five case studies written by survivors, practitioners and those with direct experiences of power abuse and inequality. Through robust research methodologies, Gavrielides’ new monograph reveals new forms of slavery, while creating a new, philosophical framework for restorative punishment through the acknowledgement of pain and the use of catharsis for internal transformation and individual empowerment. This is a powerful book that generates much needed hope.


Gavrielides has also published Gavrielides T. (2014). “Bringing Race Relations into the Restorative Justice Debate”. Vol. 45: No. 3 Journal of Black Studies, pp. 216-246.


Dr. Gavrielides in partnership with the International Juvenile Justice Observatory is supporting the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the National Police and Judicial Authority of Uruguay to:

  • Develop, refine and implement a national restorative justice protocol for the country's criminal justice system

  • Construct and pilot an evaluation framework for the implementation of the protocol and restorative justice practices with criminal cases

  • Increase the awareness of legal practitioners in Uruguay around restorative justice theory and practice.


The project involves visits to Uruguay, presentations, the development of evaluation and capacity building material and advice and support.  The project is carried out in the framework of a programme of the European Union Eurosocial II in the thematic area of Citizen Security. To find out more click here

A ground breaking programme, which aimed to foster better understanding of empathetic processes and how creative practitioners deliver them. It will bring together empathetic tools from Participatory Design, Performance and Restorative Justice (RJ) to build and develop the capacity of researchers and practitioners alike. Through a series of workshops the project aimed to:

  • develop and build connectivity, creating new visions as well as identifying new challenges and opportunities across diverse social groups linked to identification of tools and techniques that can help build empathy

  • develop and build both operational and innovative capacity (Ekblom 2008)

  • create Advisory and Dissemination Groups to ensure the legacy of the project has lasting impact, linked to careful consideration of entrepreneurial models to network partners, in finding new ways to meet social justice goals

Click here for Dr. Gavrielides presentation and here for his video

This project involved a groundbreaking edited collection by Dr. Theo Gavrielides published in 2015 by Ashgate Publishing. The edited book dares to take the next step in deepening the relationship between positivist and sociological approaches to restorative justice. 


The book uses the tools of psychology, positive psychology and neuroscience to provide a fresh critical analysis of restorative practices and theory, which have recently received much attention by policy makers and politicians. What can restorative justice learn from these disciplines? What is the appropriate normative framework when researching "parties in a conflict" as opposed to victims and offenders? Issues around power relationships, mental health, emotions, empathy and forgiveness are explored. New empirical research as well as critical theory are used to inform the book’s chapters.


Recently, the foundations of rehabilitation theory and thus practice have been shaken. In fact, rehabilitation is now seen by many researchers, policy makers and practitioners as a threat to offenders' rights and humanitarian principles. Some have even argued that rehabilitation practices are harmful to offenders' chances of going straight. Alongside this questioning, the entire paradigm on which our modern criminal justice systems are based has also been questioned.  Alternative visions of justice have been moved out of the shadows in the hope that more effective processes are developed for safer and more just societies. One of these visions is encapsulated in restorative justice, which is based on the foundation of promoting human goods in the pursuit of restoration of harm and the correction of deviant behaviour (i.e. approach goals as well as avoidance goals).


A new theory of offender rehabilitation without the offender is thus proposed through restorative justice practice. This is yet to be articulated in theory and research. This ground-breaking collected edition aims to respond to this call by bringing together thinking from international experts in restorative justice, criminology, education, law, human rights, psychology, legal theory and practice. The book was edited by Dr. Theo Gavrielides and was published in 2015 by NOVA Publishing.

This is a multi-year, international, research and policy project looking at the potential of restorative justice with clergy child sexual abuse cases that occurred within the Catholic Church and other faith institutions. Through qualitative research, policy development and campaigning, the project aims to explore alternative ways that can genuinely help address the harm that these cases have caused to victim-survivors, communities and the involved faith institutions. The programme is now under the auspices of the RJ4All Institute and continues under the direction of Dr. Theo Gavrielides.


Through evidence-based arguments, research and networking, the project aims to:


This was an EU funded research and policy project that sought to construct an effective, economic European strategy model for the diffusion of restorative justice as a response to crime.


The 3E’s Project started in June 2011 and was run by a consortium of 7 countries, led by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.  Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Director of IARS, was the Project Lead for the UK. The project carried out a comparative study of 11 European countries from the North, Western, Central, Eastern and South Europe to develop a coherent strategy for restorative justice across Europe.


The project first researched existing best practice and expertise in the participating countries and then drew upon this knowledge to produce a coherent strategy which was tested within existing justice systems, with a view to informing future EU policy. This resulted in the publication Lyon, B., Matczak, A. and T. Gavrielides (2012), Restorative Justice in the UK, London: IARS Publications. 978-1-907641-14-5 (online).


The final report and the pan-European strategy on restorative justice resulting from the project were published in Pitsela, E. and Simeonidou-Kastanidou. (2013). Restorative Justice in Criminal  Matters: Towards a European Perspective, Sakkoulas Publications: Athens, Thessaloniki.

This project was run Prof. Theo Gavrielides on behalf of IARS. As part of their commitment to reduce violence, help heal communities and provide services that stop people from committing further offences, the Greater Manchester Probation Trust (GMPT) wished to develop a strategy for the use of restorative justice with serious youth violence, street group violence (e.g. riots) and gang related crime. 


The project was run to support this initiative by providing independent and evidence-based advice that allowed GMPT to develop a solid framework for their future policy and practice in this area. The project was founded upon evidence from probation staff as well as "live case studies" that are analysed, evaluated and used for a regional restorative justice strategy. To find out more click here

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