Victim Support is backing Restorative Justice Week 2014, which runs from 16-23 November.
Restorative justice is when an offender and victim converse about an offence and how it has affected them. This can be through a face-to-face meeting (known as Restorative Justice Conferencing), facilitated and supported by a trained restorative justice expert or indirectly through a mediator or a letter.
It’s a practice that actually dates back thousands of years but is seen as a relatively new idea in dealing with the harm done by crime and other conflicts in England and Wales.
Under the Code for Victims, all victims are entitled to restorative justice.
Victim Support has long been an advocate of restorative justice as it has many benefits for both victim and offender. For the victim, the benefits include:
• a chance to have their say about how the offence made them feel
• receiving answers to their questions about the offence and the offender
• challenging and confronting the offender’s behaviour
• a chance to seek an apology and/or other reparation
• a greater sense of justice and closure
• increased confidence in the criminal justice system
• a measured reduction in post-traumatic stress
Positive results are also numerous for the offender and the community. Often, there’s improvement in the rehabilitation of the offender, a reduced likelihood of re-offending and an understanding of the impact of their actions.
The restorative justice process also gives offenders the chance to make amends and explain why they committed the offence and their motivations behind it, which in turn can help the victim understand the situation.
It also helps them reintegrate back into the community, a process which is proven to help reduce crime and re-offending and increases feelings of safety and confidence in the criminal justice system.
Victim Support offers over 30 different restorative justice programmes across the country. These are in: London, Cheshire, Cumbria and Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Yorkshire West, Avonvale, Somerset and Dorset, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Devon and Cornwall, Essex and Hertfordshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, Gwent and South Wales, West Mercia and Staffordshire and Warwickshire.
*For further information visit: https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/about-us/news/restorative-justice-week#sthash.kmMt2ALe.dpuf