School of Social and Political Science

Research project type

Restorative Justice in Scotland

Principal investigator

Principal investigator



Restorative justice involves facilitating safe communication between a person responsible for a criminal offence and the person they have harmed. My research has focused on understanding the nature and effects of using restorative justice in Scotland. This has involved analysing service data from restorative justice services in Scotland as well as engaging with professionals working in the criminal justice sector to explore the potential for extending the use of research justice in Scotland. 

Designing and Implementing Restorative Justice in Scotland - Toolkit

This toolkit is aimed at people involved in designing, setting up or extending restorative justice services in Scotland. It contains useful advice, questions, check-lists and templates that should assist people to think through the potential need for restorative justice in their areas, and how such services might be structured and operate, as well as how risk assessments might be undertaken, and how data may be collected from participants, stored and analysed. The toolkit is free to download and use.

The development of the toolkit has been a collaborative effort, particularly through the University of Edinburgh and the Restorative Justice Forum (Scotland). Dr Steve Kirkwood, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh led on the project, and the University of Edinburgh provided funding to employ Rania Hamad to collate this document. Professor Joanna Shapland of the University of Sheffield and Chair of the Restorative Justice Forum (Scotland) made significant contributions.

Other contributors include:

  • Catherine Bisset and Ella Edginton (Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services);
  • Gael Cochrane and Sarah Mccullough (Community Justice Scotland); the City of Edinburgh Council;
  • Clair Aldington (Space2face);
  • Pamela Morrison (Centre for Youth and Criminal Justice);
  • and attendees of the Workshop on Implementing Restorative Justice held on 29 November 2019, facilitated by Dr Ian Marder and Clair Aldington.

If you have any questions or comments about this toolkit, feel free to contact Dr Steve Kirkwood:

Download the Restorative Justice toolkit (PDF)


2005 - present

Supporting documents

Further information

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