Restorative Justice and Mental Health

Posted on: 12th, February 2024

Being involved in a crime can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental health. Some people find it beneficial to talk about the incident with the person who harmed them, or who they harmed. 

For victims, Restorative Justice can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD after a crime takes place, helping them put the crime behind them. It also offers the opportunity for offenders to apologise, explain and make amends where possible. 

One victim who participated in Restorative Justice described it as, “taking a big black cloud from over me and putting it over him.” Nick, a victim of assault, was left scared and experiencing low mood, fear, and anxiety following the incident. After talking with our trained practitioners, Nick said “being able to talk to you about this and be heard with no judgement was really therapeutic for me. I've felt better about it ever since”. 

Restorative Justice can provide relief for offenders, too. Following an incident with the police, an offender met with a responding officer to apologise for his actions. The officer was surprised at how emotional she felt, stating she was shocked at how genuinely remorseful the offender was. The officer felt that the visit had helped the offender come to terms with his behaviour and given him the opportunity to apologise and explain what he had been going through at the time of the incident. 

If your mental health has suffered following a crime and you think Restorative Justice is the right next step for you, please get in touch.

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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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