How Restorative Justice has helped victims to cope and to recover

Restorative Justice works, and we have many testimonies from people who have been through the process and found it to be very positive.

Are certain crimes off limits for Restorative Justice?

No. Restorative Justice can be used for any crime where there is an identifiable victim and offender, as long as both parties agree to take part. Restorative Justice is available for all offences, and at any point after the offender has been sentenced. 

Does Restorative Justice affect the sentence the offender gets?

If a case goes to court then sentencing is always up to the Judge. Restorative Justice is not an alternative to sentencing, it’s something that is used as well as it, usually after a sentence has been given, so has no impact on sentencing decisions.  The Judge is the only person who can decide on the appropriate sentence for the crime that the offender has committed.

Does Restorative Justice have to happen face-to-face?

Restorative Justice can be done both directly and indirectly. Direct Restorative Justice involves a face-to-face conference. If a victim or offender would prefer not to, or are unable to meet face-to-face, Indirect Restorative Justice can be facilitated through phone calls, video calls, letter writing, emails, or passing on messages through a third party.

Does Restorative Justice involve forgiveness?

Restorative Justice can sometimes involve forgiveness, but it doesn’t have to and it’s not expected to.

For some victims and survivors who engage in Restorative Justice, it is important to them that the offender takes full responsibility and is remorseful. However, there are some victims who engage in Restorative Justice because they just want an opportunity to tell the offender how the crime impacted them, and for the offender to think about the consequences of their actions.

How do Restorative Justice referrals work?

Both victims and offenders can self refer if they are interested in pursuing Restorative Justice. Victim referrals can also come from Victim Support or Victim Liaison Officers, support agencies and GPs. Offender referrals can come from police, probation, or prison officers. 

Is Restorative Justice mediated?

Absolutely. All Restorative Justice conferences are mediated by trained professionals, known as Restorative Justice Facilitators. Other organisations or individuals involved to best assess risk may also be present throughout the process. 

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for offenders?

Restorative Justice helps offenders to see the impact of their actions

It allows offenders the opportunity to apologise and explain

It gives them the opportunity to make amends where possible

It helps the offender put the crime behind them

It reduces reoffending rates by 14%

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for victims of crime?

Restorative Justice can reduce victim’s symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD after a crime takes place.

It empowers victims and gives them a chance to have their voice heard, taking back control.

It allows them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the crime, e.g ‘why me?’, ‘did you target me specifically?’.

It helps the victim put the crime behind them. 

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Case Studies

A Street Robbery

Daniel contacted the Restorative Justice team after he committed a street robbery on Carl. “The p...

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Burglary Case

Victim initiated referral after receiving information about Restorative Justice from victim bureau staff when given court result. Victim was still ...

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Burglary: John & Lucy

John burgled Lucy’s home when she was outside hanging out her washing. When she came inside, she found him standing in her property. She describe...

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Injury By Dangerous Driving

The offender, Sam*, had committed the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. This was a first time offence, and he was extremely r...

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Neighbours' Dispute

A neighbours’ dispute had been occurring between John*, who owned a house adjoining a public right of way, and Frank*, who was the son of the own...

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Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse

The offences against Joshua were of a sexual nature and were committed in the 1980s, when Joshua was aged between 10 and 15 years old. To...

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What People Say About Restorative Justice

The facilitators have been wonderful. I feel stronger than I did. I would really recommend Restorative Justice.

Burglary Victim

Thank you for the letter, it has made a real difference to how I feel about what happened

From victim of a criminal damage to vehicle where the offender wanted to write a letter which explained what he had been feeling at the time and how sorry he was now.

Thank you for the letter, it has made a difference to how I feel.

Georgia, Victim of Crime

Thank you for the update, I felt reassured that the offender has apologised and that her behaviour was subject to some reflection and accountability.

Linda, Victim of Crime

He's done what he has been asked to do (apologise for the harm caused) - I'm very happy with that.

Kieran, Victim of Crime

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