Sycamore Tree Project Case Study

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Sycamore Tree Project. Another relevant victim-offender based practice utilized throughout correctional facilities is the Sycamore Tree Project. Based upon Christian faith, the Prison Fellowship Solomon Islands (PFSI) established the Sycamore Tree program throughout Solomon prisons in 2008 (Brigg, Chadwick & Griggers, 2012). This victim awareness program embraces restorative practice as a means to highlight the impact of crime on victims, offenders, and the community by offering the opportunity for offenders to take ownership of their crime and become reintegrated, and reduce alarming recidivism rates (Brigg, Chadwick & Griggers, 2012). The first phase begins with victim-offender counseling, where the individuals meet for eight 2-hour sessions over a period of four weeks (Brigg, Chadwick & Griggers, 2012). Facilitators guide the discussion by introducing the Sycamore tree program, what crime means, responsibilities, confessions and repentance, forgiveness, restitution, towards reconciliation, and celebration in attempt to improve the offender’s quality of life (Brigg, Chadwick & Griggers, 2012). Victims and offenders are encouraged to discuss the crime by sharing letters and contracts that…show more content…
Research has proven that the Sycamore Tree program has had some impact on recidivism rates throughout Solomon Islands. Within one year, “recidivism rates for 192 offenders who completed the program were 27% when compared to 29% that recidivated in the control group” (Re-offending Analysis, 2015). Evaluations of this program also indicate change in offender’s attitudes toward crime, and a significant increase in empathy towards victims. Victims reported that the Sycamore Tree program heightened their sense of healing and closure, and have recommended the program to other victims (Re-offending Analysis, 2015). The successful outcomes associated with the Sycamore Tree program has led to the use of restorative practice throughout prison populations in various

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