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Criminal Justice

The initiative stemmed from the work of the London Serious Youth Violence Board (LSYVB), who acknowledged that young people needed to feed into its strategies. IARS was one of the leading bodies facilitating this initiative. Under the direction of Dr. Gavrielides, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) was set up to advise directly government and other key criminal justice bodies in relation to serious youth violence. The YAB carried out a youth-led investigation into the causes of serious youth violence on public transport in London amongst several publications.

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 is edited by Dr. Theo Gavrielides and will be published in 2015 by NOVA Publishing. To read more click here.

This multi-year, ground breaking project was initiated in 2013 by Dr. Theo Gavrielides on behalf of IARS with the aim of creating an evidence base for policy reform and practice within probation services in the UK and abroad. The programme is ongoing and has resulted in several publications including Gavrielides, T. and Blake, S. (2013). Race in Probation: Improving outcomes for black and minority ethnic users of probation services, London: IARS Publications. ISBN: 978-190764119-0 and the  Race in Probation Toolkit: BAME User Involvement in Probation Services 


To read about the events, free material, reports, presentations and seminars that the project has generated click here

A user-led programme run by IARS, empowering 16 female volunteers to inform and influence how the police engages with young females with mental health problems while being in custody. Click here for more information.


Funded by the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and project managed by Dr. Theo Gavrielides, the project pubished its findings in (2012). Listening to Young Women in Police Custody: Mental health needs and the police response, London: IARS.

Building Bridges Project [2006-2008]

In 2006, Dr. Theo Gavrielides fundraised resources to run the Building Bridges Project for Race on the Agenda (ROTA).


The Building Bridges Project was set up to show how young people can be involved in designing, forming and delivering policy. It was also introduced as a pilot whereby young people (16-25) from various racial, cultural and economic backgrounds would be given the chance to interact and learn from each other and through human rights education find out what unites them rather than what divides them in a society where materialism, lack of respect for each other’s dignity and rights, exclusion, fear and isolation thrive.


Dr Gavrielides trained and supported a group of young people from mixed backgrounds to run a youth-led research and policy project to:

  • increase their awareness of human rights and ethical values with a view to address their biases and build bridges between them;

  • collect evidence relating to the knife and gun culture that is rooted in the capital with a view to affect policymaking.


The project resulted in the publication BUILDING BRIDGES PROJECT Empowering young people through human rights values: Fighting the knife culture

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. The project is led by Professor Theo Gavrielides, on behalf of RJ4All and is conducted with RJ4All partner the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University.


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.


The project is unfunded and carried out under the auspices of RJ4All. To get involved or to support it click here

Since 2008, Dr. Gavrielides has been serving as a memebr of the London Scrutiny and Involvement Panel. This is a community engagement panel made up of former members of the Hate Crime Scrutiny and Community Involvement Panels.

The panel ensures that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) engage with communities and partners to improve their performance and to continue to listen to communities on ways in which they can improve their case handling. Members also help to better-inform the direction of our Community Engagement Strategy and the quality of the service that the CPS provide.

The Restorative Justice for All Institute (RJ4All) is carrying 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, is the project lead for this programme which is supported by two Research Assistants, Ioanna Gouseti and Andriana  Ntziadima.


RJ4All is conducting quantiative and qualitative fieldwork with a sample group from two interventions. In particular, the programmes named “Silence the Violence” and Milestones aim to reduce violence and anti-social behaviour through self-awareness and pro-social behaviour change. To achieve their goal they utilize the Good Lives Models, a 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 has 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

Detention Action has launched an alternative to detention project for young migrant ex-offenders at risk of indefinite immigration detention. The Community Support Project is the first alternative to detention specifically to address the needs of migrant ex-offenders, who frequently experience the longest periods of immigration detention. It is also the first alternative to detention to focus on migrants’ active community participation.


The project addresses the risks of absconding and reoffending relied on by the Home Office to justify extreme long-term detention. It aims to demonstrate that, with reintegration support, ex-offender migrants rarely abscond or reoffend, and therefore that the long-term detention of ex-offenders with barriers to removal is unnecessary.


Dr. Gavrielides is leading on an evaluation of this work through IARS. The evaluation focuses on assessing the following:

  • the reintegration outcomes of participants, considered against Home Office risk assessments (e.g. imminence of removal; risk of absconding; risk of harm to the public)

  • the impacts of case management and training on skills, confidence and participation levels of 90 young migrants;  

  • the strengths and weaknesses of the programme delivery method.  

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