Restorative justice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with the offender link to their case in a controlled and safe environment, allowing the victim to explain the real impact of the crime.
It empowers victims by giving them a voice. It also holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and make amends.
Restorative Justice is still fully active and excepting referrals throughout the Covid19 pandemic. However, face to face conferencing will be reviewed regularly to ensure we follow government guidelines.
Is this service right for a victim?
Restorative Justice is a voluntary victim-led service providing the opportunity to communicate with an offender where there may not have been an opportunity to do so before. It can potentially be used for any type of crime. The offender must have admitted the crime and be willing to participate for any form of communication to take place.
The victim’s safety is paramount and thorough assessments are carried out to determine whether Restorative Justice is appropriate and safe to proceed.
What are the benefits?
- Victims feeling empowered by having their say
- Victims being able to move on with their lives
- Offenders recognising the impact of what they have done, taking responsibility and making amends
- Research showing 85% of victims who participated in Restorative Justice felt it was a positive experience
- The process being completely voluntary for both parties.
Who will support victims with this?
The Victim and Witness Hub have trained and experienced volunteer RJ Practitioners. They support victims to decide the most appropriate restorative approach along with facilitating a face to face conference should it be appropriate and safe to do so.
Victims are welcome to have a friend, family member or professional to provide support throughout the process.
Where would victims meet the offender?
Restorative justice often involves direct contact in the form of a face to face conference. This will take place at a suitable location in the community or within a designated area for Restorative Justice within the prison should the offender be serving a sentence for the offence.
However, in some cases a meeting may not be suitable. In this case the process may be undertaken by another form of communication such as letter writing or mediation in which victims can have an opportunity to ask questions and express their thoughts and feelings to the offender.