Brief Overview of Offender Reparation Programme
Focussing on accountability, repairing the harm caused, responsibility, reparation, commitment to good behaviour in the future; Participants undertake a number of actions; in return they may receive some mitigation from the courts for their efforts.
- In Court, the Judge provides the offender the option of participation in the Offender Reparation Programme before final sanction is decided. An adjournment of 8 – 10 weeks is usually required.
- Offender attends meeting with the assigned RJS Case Worker who explains more about the Programme and gives offender opportunity to discuss the incident.
- A date is agreed for the offender to meet with the Reparation Panel which is made up of one representative from An Garda Siochana, the Probation Service, the Community.
- The victim is contacted and advised of the case being referred to RJS. Information and options are provided to the victim with regard to level of participation and / or input they might be interested in. Victim participation is completely voluntary.
- At first Panel meeting the Reparation Panel discusses the offence, its effects and implications for all concerned, victim, offender and community. The Reparation Panel and offender agree a contract, which could include all or any of the following actions.
Possible Components of Reparation Contracts:
- Participate in facilitated meeting or contact with the victim
- Meet with a victim advocate to learn about the impact of the offence committed
- Write a letter of apology
- Attend alcohol, substance abuse, anger management education classes and / or counselling
- A charitable donation
- Completion of written reflective work
- Commit to availing of employment / education / training opportunities
- Complete amount of voluntary work in the community
- Commitment to be of good behaviour in the future