Restorative Justice Outcome Agreements
Posted on: 4th, August 2023
What is a Restorative Justice Outcome Agreement?
An Outcome Agreement is written up during a Restorative Justice meeting, with input from all parties, to establish next steps. The agreement details the plan going forward, with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives. It makes sure that everyone has the same practical and realistic expectations following the meeting. Everyone involved signs and receives a copy.
It’s important to note that not everyone wants or needs an Outcome Agreement. Daniel said "it was offered, and I thought about it. But actually, we said everything we needed to in our meeting, wished each other the best, and left it at that. Done and dusted and on we go."
How is an outcome agreement monitored?
Each action or statement included will have someone responsible for its completion, who will be noted on the Outcome Agreement. There will also be a deadline for the action or statement, so the person responsible has a full understanding of the expectations for fulfilling this section of the agreement.
Amaara told us "it was really important to me that [the offender] got help and support for his drug use. That was what I wanted more than anything. But discussing the Outcome Agreement really helped us both work out what that looked like. Like, how would I know if he was doing that? He said I could phone his Offender Manager whenever I wanted so I could check. That was a really good idea, and it really made me believe that he was trying to show me that he was changing."
How are Outcome Agreements helpful?
An Outcome Agreement makes sure that everyone has the same practical and realistic expectations following the meeting. An Outcome Agreement provides actionable steps that support the Restorative process.
Some people may also find it important to have evidence of their Restorative discussion to help them gain closure and to be able to move forward. During feedback, Janette told us that she kept her Outcome Agreement in her purse. "[The offence] was really traumatic for me - I still have to live with a lot of consequences of it and it's very much affected my mental health. But I look at it often, as a reminder that I did something really brave and that I'm stronger than I think."
Alisha said "mine just said one thing: that they apologised, and that I heard it. I didn't need to accept that apology there and then - I can do that at my own pace if I want. But it was said and I heard it. That's important to me."
Outcome Agreement examples
In a death by dangerous driving case, the offender and the sister of the young man he had killed created an Outcome Agreement to establish what they needed to do following the meeting. This included the following points:
- Offender to undergo proper driver training when legitimate to do so.
- Offender to undergo counselling prior to release (1st session arranged for following day).
- Sister to facilitate visit by offender to deceased's grave.
- If the deceased's mother ever felt the need in future, he would agree to meet her for a restorative conference.
The document below shows another example of a Restorative Justice Outcome Agreement. It details the action or statement, the person responsible for fulfilling this and the expected deadline.
Is Restorative Justice right for me?
Restorative Justice looks different for everybody, as every case is different. Our trained practitioners prioritise your wellbeing throughout the process, to make sure that you are comfortable and safe. If you think Restorative Justice might be helpful for you, please get in touch.