youth offending service
About the project
2001 – 2007
As part of my role within the Restorative Justice Team, Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service, I developed the idea of working with young people, who had offended, to create a gift of artwork for the person or persons they had harmed. This was as part of a restorative justice or reparative process. The artwork explored how the young person felt about what had happened, the consequences of their offence and what they thought should happen now. The artwork was only gifted where appropriate and with the consent of all involved. Where a gifting was not appropriate, the artwork was donated to the community. Alternatively, it was sold or auctioned in aid of a charity relevant to the offence or one chosen by the person harmed.
From 2006 – 2007 I was employed as the Creative Arts Development Worker in Youth Justice with the Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Youth Offending Services. This was one of six national pilot projects in England jointly funded by Arts Council England and the Youth Justice Board. I, and clients of the Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service created ‘The Art Place’ as a base for the project.
I am indebted to Pete Wallis, the Oxfordshire Youth Offending Service and Thames Valley Police who first trained me in Restorative Practices.
I owe a great deal to colleagues in the Oxfordshire and West Berkshire Youth Offending Services for allowing me to work alongside them in creative ways.