Old town

Field trips

Here you can find more information on the seven field trips of the EFRJ Conference (Tallinn 29-31 May 2024) that will take place on Friday 31 May in the afternoon. 

1. A dialogue on youth participation in restorative justice advocacy

Four Child Advisory Boards (CABs) have been established in Greece, Estonia, Romania and the Netherlands within the framework of the i-Restore 2.0 project coordinated by Terre des hommes (2019-2021). This EU funded project has the aim to strengthen access to high quality restorative justice processes for children in contact with the law in Europe. Each CAB is composed of young people (aged 16-21) who have various experiences in interacting with both the legal and social systems. This field trip will be led by the young experts who are active members of the Estonian CAB. In a dialogue format, they will help participants to understand how the involvement of children and young people in Estonia is currently taking place so that they can better engage in processes that affect their own lives. Through their encounters and experiences, young individuals will assist professionals in comprehending how to make services designed to support children and young people more child-friendly and develop them further. This field trip is relevant to anyone interested in youth participation in restorative justice advocacy, and, more broadly, to all those reflecting about how to involve people with lived experience in informing their peers about restorative justice. It is also relevant for all those working with children and young people in contact with the criminal justice system and/or who experienced violence in other settings. 

2. A circle with women organisations and victim support services

In recent years, the area of application of restorative justice has experienced rapid growth, including complex and serious offences such as gender-based violence. Despite evidence on the applicability of restorative justice in all cases, some resistance and misunderstandings exist on how to best ensure victims support and protection. This field trip will take the form of a  circle with restorative justice experts and local professionals representing  and working with victims (e.g. ministries, victim support, women organisations and other professionals). In the circle, participants will have the opportunity to engage into a facilitated dialogue on the application of restorative justice in sensitive cases such as sexual violence and intimate partner violence. The focus will be on  the benefits of implementation as well as on the risk factors to ensure a safe process for all parties, especially for the victim. The circle format will create a safe space for respectful and constructive exchange,  also to hear about eventual resistance and fears on the offer and implementation of restorative justice programmes in cases of gender-based violence. This field trip is relevant for those with knowledge and/or experience of restorative justice in cases of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence (or other complex and senitive cases). Participation in the circle requires active involvement and sharing of ideas.

3. A visit to the prison

This field trip will give you an overview of the vision, developments, and next steps of Restorative Practice and Restorative Justice in the Estonian Criminal Justice System, including Prison and Probation Service. You will hear a presentation with some interactive elements, including how prisons work to create restorative culture and respond to conflicts.


4. A visit to the probation service

More information coming soon

5. Zoom-in on the Barnahus child-friendly interagency model

The Barnahus (literally “Children's House”) model offers multidisciplinary and interagency interventions, organised under one roof in a child-friendly setting, placing the best interests of the child at the centre. In Estonia, Barnahus is a public service of the Social Insurance Board provided to support sexually abused children,  children suspected of being sexually abused or children with harmful sexual behaviour. Children's Houses are located in four cities (Tallinn, Tartu, Jõhvi and Pärnu) but the service is available to all children in need in Estonia. This field trip is relevant for anyone working with children in contact with the criminal justice, in particular in cases of child sexual abuse, and, more in general, for anyone interested in multi-agency cooperation models intergrating different services to support and protect people affected by harm and crime.

6. Police academy

Estonia has only one higher education organisation that offers the necessary competences to internal security experts – the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS). EASS trains, among other professions, police and border guard officers, rescue workers, prison guards and several other experts. Conference participants attending this field trip will get an overview of the curricula and specific competences taught in the EASS. They will also be given a tour of the EASS main building, which is probably  the most modern internal security education facility in Europe at the moment. This field trip is particularly relevant for anyone interested in the links between security studies, police work and restorative justice. It is also relevant for those involved in restorative justice training for criminal justice and legal professionals, and, more generally, for those dedicated to changing the culture of criminal justice systems and professionals from a punitive to a restorative one.

7. Patarei Sea Fortress tour

Taking inspiration from Prussian defence systems, the Patarei sea fortress was built in the 1820s as Tallinn’s main marine fortification complex. During the Estonian War of Independence (1918-20) the building was converted into a prison and served as such until 2005. Since then, Patarei has been the subject of numerous redevelopment plans and it currently works as a museum: the fortress also includes an exhibition space called “Communism is a Prison”, which introduces the ideology and crimes of communism along with the history of the building. The communist regime of the Soviet Union (in Estonia 1940-1941, 1944-1991) imprisoned innocent people in the historical Patarei fortress on ideological pretext. They constitute only a fraction of all the victims of communism, the estimated number of whom in the world is 90 million.  This field trip is interesting for those who have an interest in the history of the country and wish to know more about its past security and justice systems during the communist times. It is the perfect choice for those who wish to have a touristic experience in the city, while still reflecting about topics at the core of the conference themes, such as crime and punishment. 

Photo credits: Tallinn Old Town by Kaupo Kalda