The following is from the Warwickshire Police Website and is a great piece about Restorative Justice.
Restorative justice (RJ) is a way of working that helps us deal with conflict. Warwickshire Police are committed to developing Restorative Justice.
Restorative Justice is a process that brings together those harmed by crime with those responsible for the harm. This communication enables everyone affected by the crime to repair the harm and find a positive way forward.
Does it work?
Government research demonstrates that restorative justice provides an 85% victim satisfaction rate, and a 14% reduction in the frequency of re offending.
Benefits of RJ generally:
- Puts the needs of the victim first
- Gives victims a greater voice in the Criminal Justice system
- Finds positive solutions to crime
- Allows victims to receive an explanation and more meaningful reparation from offenders
- Makes offenders accountable for their actions
- Shows the community that offenders are facing up to their actions
- Can, in some cases, motivate offenders to stop their criminal behaviour
Is it a soft option for offenders?
For offenders, the experience can be incredibly challenging as it confronts them with the personal impact of their crime. It holds them to account for their actions and gets them to face the consequences of the harm they have caused. It is certainly not a soft option.
Benefits of RJ to the offender:
- Opportunity to offer explanation
- Opportunity to apologise
- Opportunity to repair the harm
- Often reduces re-offending
What are the benefits for victims?
Crime can have a huge variety of affects on the victim. Their recovery can be complex. But studies have shown that meeting the person who has harmed them can be a huge step in moving forward and recovering from the crime.
Benefits of RJ to the victim:
- Make an offender realise how the crime has affected the victim’s life
- Find out information to help put the crime behind them – for example, why the offender targeted them
- Ask for reparation, either financial or a verbal apology
- Reduces post traumatic stress disorder
How does it work?
Restorative Justice is completely voluntary and there is no coercion to attend a meeting. In a carefully prepared and skilfully facilitated process both offender and victim exchange their experiences and explore the harm caused. It concludes with an agreement on how the harm can be repaired
Warwickshire Police have skilled facilitators who can support and facilitate the meetings that are called Restorative Justice Conferences.