What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice is the process of bringing together those harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward.
Restorative Justice processes:
- Gives victims the chance to tell offenders about the harm and distress they have caused in a safe, secure and comfortable environment
- Allows victims to get answers to questions they may have and an apology
- Aims to provide healing for the victim
- Hold offenders to account for what they have done
- Helps offenders understand the real impact their actions/crimes have had
- Provides an opportunity for the offender to take steps to address the harm they have caused (like apologising).
Ministry of Justice research has shown that:
- 85% of victims that participated in Restorative Justice conferences were satisfied with the experience
- Restorative Justice has the potential to reduce the frequency of reoffending by 14%.
Suitable cases where Restorative Justice would be effective:
- Any offence where there is an identifiable victim, burglary, robbery, assault (not domestic violence or a sexual offence where it is likely that the offender and victim will have ongoing future contact)
- Offender has pleaded guilty to the charge
- Offender is willing to meet with the victim in a safe environment
- Offender has some insight into the impact of their offending.
If a victim agrees, and it is assessed as being safe and appropriate to do so, an Restorative Justice conference will be arranged. This is a meeting between the offender and victim, managed by a trained Restorative Justice facilitator. If it is not possible to arrange a conference, attempts will be made to ensure any apologies made by the offender are passed directly to the victim.
How Restorative Justice works in London.