Skip to main content

Restorative justice

Restorative Justice puts the victim(s) of an offence committed by a young person at the heart of the youth justice system.

Although restorative justice is not suitable in all cases (for example, where the offender denies responsibility for the crime or the victim is unwilling to participate even indirectly) restorative justice can play an important role in reducing reoffending, helping victims and increasing public confidence in the youth justice system by:

  • holding young people to account so that they will take part in repairing the harm they have caused and will learn from the experience
  • giving victims a voice and reducing the fear of crime and anti-social behaviour
  • engaging members of the local community
  • reinforcing parental responsibility.

Restorative justice is not a soft option: many offenders find it difficult to face the consequences of their crimes. Research shows that most victims who participate in some form of restorative justice process find it helpful and are satisfied with the outcome.

Once a young person has been sentenced at court a specifically trained victim advocate worker will make contact with the victim to explain the sentence that the young person has received and to offer support to the victim that may go some way towards repairing the harm that has been done by the offence.

Victims are offered a range of opportunities to take part in the restorative justice process and these can include the following:

  • Face to face meetings with the young person who committed an offence against them at either a referral panel meeting or specially arranged restorative conference
  • Mediation between the victim and the offender, (again this can either be a face to face meeting or facilitated through 'shuttle mediation' where a mediator conveys wishes, feelings and thoughts between the victim and the offender
  • The victim can agree to receive a letter of apology from the offender
  • The offender can perform a specific piece of unpaid work directly for the benefit of and at the request of the victim
  • If the victim does not want to participate in the RJ process, (or there is no clear victim) the offender will have to perform a number hours of unpaid work (reparation) in order to make amends for his offending to the community in general. (This can range from gardening on the Youth Offending Team (YOT) allotment to painting, graffiti removal, environmental works etc).

Email or call 01752 306999 to suggest a suitable project.