Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice is a specified activity that can run alongside a community order and is the process whereby those harmed by a specific crime, and those responsible for it, are brought into communication. This enables those affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

Academic research suggests that, if undertaken appropriately, Restorative Justice (RJ) can reduce reoffending when delivered in both the community and in prisons – and result in high rates of victim satisfaction. Three quarters of the victims who took part would recommend the process to other potential participants.
Who is eligible?
Eligible participants are offenders who have pleaded guilty to offences of violence, domestic burglary and other offences of personally directed harm. This applies to high and medium risk cases and others, who are at risk of custody and whose offences have a personal victim.

If the offender is considered suitable, the court report writer will liaise with the Restorative Justice Team to confirm that appropriate arrangements can be made to implement the Specified Activity Requirement.

RJ gives victims a unique chance to ask questions of the offender, to express their anger and explain how they have been affected by the crime. In many cases RJ enables victims to gain a real sense of closure, put the offence behind them and move forward.
What is involved?
If the specified activity is ordered by the Magistrates, the offender will be contacted by the RJ facilitator to arrange an assessment meeting.

The RJ requirement involves taking part in at least four meetings which will include:

  • An assessment meeting to explore the possibilities of making amends
  • A preparation meeting to prepare for the reparation event, which could be a meeting with the victim, or some other form of reparation
  • The meeting with the victim, or reparation activity, which can involve writing a letter of apology
  • A review meeting with the offender manager and the RJ facilitator.