Judge applauds Oamaru restorative justice programme

by Sol Dolor15 Jul 2016
A judge is applauding the efforts of the restorative justice programme operating in Oamaru, saying that it is of great help in his sentencing.

Judge Allan Roberts particularly cited the reports crafted by the programme for their attention to detail, a report from the Otago Daily Times said.

The judge said the reports supply him with building blocks in the critical process of sentencing, the publication noted.

The reports praised by the judge come from Waitaki Turnaround, the Waitaki Safer Community Trust’s justice practice that’s being coordinated by Derek Beveridge, a former police officer.

The reports are created after the restorative justice programme conducts an initial assessment of the offender and offence, a meeting between victims and offenders where facilitators and support staff discuss the events when possible and an examination of what should be done for the victim.

Beveridge was thankful that judge Roberts praised the programme, its efforts and reports particularly because it tells the organisation that they are doing what needs to be done.

“It's nice to hear comments coming back from the bench, because sometimes you wonder if what you're doing is what they want,” Beveridge is quoted by the Otago Daily Times as saying.

“I'm not interested in people patting people on the back, but it's nice for it to be recognised that what we're doing is what they're expecting.”

The restorative justice program in the North Otago town has been operating for about two decades.