RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN A CUSTODIAL SETTING; AN EVALUATION FRAMEWORK FOR THE NSYF’S TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL PILOT PROJECT
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The RP initiative in Unit 2A at the NSYF represented a different thrust for the restorative approach than has been common in youth and adult prisons to date. Its target was life in the unit and, by implication, the subculture of the unit and the relationships among the youths and youth workers involved there. Its objectives in these regards were quite unusual and a challenge to the widespread view that the concept of RP in a prison context was itself an oxymoron. As such, the NSYF project represented a creative initiative with significant potential implications in the long-run for incarcerated youths, the role of the youth worker, and prison management. The RP initiative was wellconceived and well-implemented. Judged from a “do no harm” perspective, there were few if any negatives. It was implemented at little cost to the NSYF, did not result in extra work for the YWs, and did not apparently conflict with their established formal responsibilities. There were no significant hardships for youths as a result of the RP initiative, no increased vulnerability among the youths, and no interference with or diminution of any of the on-going programs and services.