Sycamore Tree is a victim awareness programme that teaches offenders the principles of restorative justice.
The Sycamore Tree Project® brings together unrelated victims and offenders (that is, they are not each other’s victims and offenders). Using a curriculum guide prepared by PFI, a facilitator leads the participants in conversations about subjects related to crime and justice.
Sycamore Tree is a victim awareness programme that teaches the principles of restorative justice. It is taught in prisons in groups of up to 20 learners by PF volunteers. Prisoners on the programme explore the effects of crime on victims, offenders, and the community, and discuss what it would mean to take responsibility for their personal actions.
For most offenders on Sycamore Tree the most powerful element of the programme is when a victim of crime comes in to talk through how crime has impacted their lives. Offenders have an opportunity in the final session to express their remorse – some write letters, poems or create works of art or craft. Members of the community are invited to support and bear witness to these symbolic acts of restitution.
Sycamore Tree is currently running in 40 prisons across England and Wales. Find your nearest Sycamore Tree course.
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