Prison Fellowship Uganda

Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace

“Justice and Peace can have profound effects on the victims and offenders.”

Justice systems are generally punitive and do not rehabilitate people who are convicted of a crime.

Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace (STP), increases prisoners’ awareness of how crime harms victims, what is needed to make amends, and how to be peacemakers in the future. The program has a powerful impact on both prisoner and victim participants, and studies have shown that offenders who go through STP have significant changes in attitude that make it less likely they will re-offend once released.

The Problem

The criminal justice systems of most countries are struggling to cope with the growing number of prisoners. Due to slow-moving legal procedures, millions of inmates are held in overcrowded and unhealthy conditions, often waiting for trial for an extended period of time. In some cases, the waiting period can exceed the maximum sentence they would receive if convicted, stretching up to a decade or more.

 

The Solution

Restorative justice repairs the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational. When people talk about restorative justice, the definition revolves around three big ideas.

  1. Encounter: Justice is both relational and participatory. Justice is best done by and with the victim, offender, and other stakeholders, not to them.
  2. Repair: Justice is best done by making things right for the victim.
  3. Transform: Justice is best pursued in a just world. This means justice is best pursued in a safe space or encounter where all involved can authentically speak and listen to one another. 

The Plan

Restorative justice is best accomplished through cooperative processes that allow willing prisoners and victims to meet and explore topics such as personal responsibility and making amends. This can lead to the transformation of people, relationships, and communities.

Watch How Sycamore Tree Project®: Justice and Peace Is Making A Difference