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Restorative Justice: Giving victims a voice

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice gives victims the chance to meet or communicate with their offenders to explain the real impact of the crime – it empowers victims by giving them a voice. It also holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and make amends.

Restorative justice is about victims and offenders communicating within a safe environment to talk about the harm that has been caused and finding a way to cope and recover from that harm.

Government research demonstrates that restorative justice provides an 85% victim satisfaction rate, and a 14% reduction in the frequency of reoffending.

For victims, meeting the person who has harmed them can be a huge step in moving forward and recovering from the crime.

For offenders, the experience can be incredibly challenging as it confronts them with the personal impact of their crime.

Understanding Restorative Justice

How does it work?

Victim-led restorative justice in North Yorkshire, where a victim meets their offender, are led by a facilitator who supports and prepares the people taking part and makes sure that the process is safe. Sometimes, when a face to face meeting is not the best way forward, the facilitator will arrange for the victim and offender to communicate via letters, recorded interviews or video.

For any kind of communication to take place, the offender must have admitted to the crime, and both victim and offender must want the interaction to take place.

Restorative justice can be used for any type of crime and at any stage of the criminal justice system, including alongside a prison sentence.

The Restorative Justice Council advocates the use of safe, high quality restorative justice wherever and whenever it is needed.

Restorative justice is increasingly being used outside of the criminal justice system, where it is referred to as restorative practice.

Restorative practice is effective in building strong relationships and can help prevent and manage conflict in schools, children’s services, workplaces, hospitals, prisons and communities.

restorativejustice.org.uk

Victim-led Restorative Justice in North Yorkshire

Through Supporting Victims you will be able to access victim-led restorative justice in the form of a victim-offender conference.

Victim offender conferences are entirely led by the victim and may involve a supported face to face meeting between a victim and offender which allows the victim to directly tell the offender how they have been impacted by the offenders actions and the crime committed against them.