RESTORE justice healing hope was set up in 2012 as a trust to help facilitate the work being done for young people at conflict with the law. The central focus is around the education and practice of restorative justice to provide an alternative to the punitive criminal justice system.
Restorative justice is an approach that focuses on the needs of victims, offenders, and the involved community. Victims can take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions.
RESTORE – designs and runs programmes and initiatives for sentenced inmates in the belief that the destructive cycle of crime can be broken.
We believe in a message of hope and restoration that can positively affect broken individuals, families and ultimately entire communities.
RESTORE’s victim awareness programme targets high-risk youth in the Western Cape who are incarcerated at Pollsmoor Correctional Centre. South Africa has one of the highest crime rates in the world. South Africa’s Gini-coefficient is currently 63.14, compared with a Western Europe average of low-to-mid 30s, reflecting massive social and economic inequalities. A similar ratio is found in other developing nations and the problem of youth crime in many cities in the world is on the increase.
Many of the young men we work with come from neighbourhoods where unemployment, single parent families, drug abuse and gangsterism are rife. Under-resourced criminal justice support, has given rise to vigilantism. Prisons are overcrowded, violent, underfunded; yet thousands of young people find themselves inside. Once inside they have little access to education with no realistic focus on Restorative Justice. These institutions simply exacerbate their life struggles.
RESTORE’s programme material has been written to take into account continuous trauma, oral language competence and education needs.
From years of practice and local and international research RESTORE’s programme has evolved and emphasises a trauma informed approach. Recently from a class of just 14 young men, more than 650 accounts of their own victimisation were recorded. Creating a space for respectful sharing and listening is only just the start of a journey towards justice, healing and hope.