Why Does it Work?
Meeting the person who has committed a crime against you can be a huge step in enabling you to move forward and recover from the impact it has caused. The person responsible for the crime can provide an opportunity to answer any questions you may have been left with, whilst you can explain the personal impact the crime has had on you, as well as on your family and friends. Additionally, understanding why you have been victimised can bring a sense of closure to move forward.
Restorative Justice can also bring a sense of empowerment to the person harmed, enabling them to feel they no longer have to be afraid, and allowing them to continue to lead a normal life. The impact from seeing first-hand what the consequences have been for the person harmed, can alter and influence their attitude, action or behaviour in their own life moving forward, and helping to reduce the chance of them re-offending in future.
Studies conclude Restorative Justice works differently on different kinds of people, therefore, as a general policy, it can work well if evidence can establish what works best for each individual, this may then indicate when and when not to use it (Sherman & Strang, 2007)
Research conducted in 2007 by Sherman & Strang revealed Restorative Justice:
- Substantially reduced repeat offending
- Doubled the offence brought to justice
- Reduced victims’ Post Traumatic Stress symptoms
- Provided victims and offenders with more satisfaction
- Reduced victims’ desire for revenge
- Reduced costs
- Reduced recidivism more than prison
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Research undertaken by Government demonstrated 85% of victims who take part in Restorative Justice find the process helpful.
Source: Restorative Justice Council