Do you feel remorse for your actions?
Are you ready to understand the impact your offending has on others?
Do you accept responsibility for what you have done?
Do you want to explain your actions or apologise to the person you harmed?
If so, then Restorative Justice could help
How to Take Part
Person who caused the harm:
Restorative justice is about victims and offenders communicating within a controlled environment to talk about the harm that has been caused and finding a way to repair that harm.
The Restorative Justice process is led by a facilitator who supports and prepares the people taking part, whilst making sure that it is safe. The facilitator is able to talk you through the process, answer any questions that you may have and explain what will happen every step of the way. This allows you the chance to explore what will work best for you, as Restorative Justice is entirely voluntary, you can pull out at any time, including on the day of a meeting or even while the meeting is going on; it is entirely up to you to decide whether to go through with it.
The process of Restorative Justice can be facilitated through face to face conferences or letters. Some people prefer to attend a Restorative Justice meeting on their own, but others have a friend or family member with them to provide support. This will be discussed with the facilitator and agreed in advance, so that the supporter is fully prepared. Even if you decide not to bring anybody with you, the facilitator will always be there.
What support is available?
The Restorative Justice facilitators role is to prepare everyone involved individually until they are ready to communicate. A trained Restorative Justice Facilitator will be assigned to you to guide you through the process. They will complete all necessary eligibility, suitability and risk assessments and will meet with you regularly. This will help the Facilitator to understand what happened and what you want to give to the meeting including how remorseful you feel. They will discuss the options available and answer any questions you may have, providing reassurance and support throughout.
Methods of Restorative Justice
Direct (Face to Face)
Face to Face Restorative Justice involves a meeting between the victim and the offender, as well as the RJ Facilitator. Both the victim and offender can be accompanied by members of their family or friends should they wish to do so. These people are called Supporters. Supporters undergo the same eligibility, suitability and risk assessments as the victim and the offender to help ensure that RJ is a safe and restorative intervention.
The meeting will be led by your Facilitator who will thoroughly prepare you about what to expect before, during and after the meeting takes place. All meetings are held in a safe and controlled environment and you can be assured that the victim and offender are not left alone at any time.
Some people do not feel comfortable meeting face-to-face, or this may not be appropriate due to a variety of reasons. Where this is the case, alternative methods of communication can be used:
Letters: Your Facilitator will work with you and the offender to arrange the passing of letters between the victim and the offender, providing the victim with the opportunity to write down any questions you have, and how you feel as a result of the crime, for the offender to read and respond to. All letters are reviewed by the Facilitator before being passed on to the other party to ensure their content is appropriate with a restorative aim in mind.
Shuttle: Instead of writing letters, messages can be passed between the victim and the offender by the Facilitator.
How can Restorative Justice help you?
Meeting a person who you have harmed can be a really difficult thing and you may be thinking why would I want to do that! To reassure you often the victim isn’t wanting to shout at you or make you feel uncomfortable, they just want to know some answers around why you did what you did to them. They will often be thinking about what happened trying to work out why me.
It can really help you to understand the impact you are having on other people by committing crime and if you’re feeling remorseful for what you have done then it can be a really good way to be able to express this to your victim.
Individuals similar to yourself have reported being influenced by seeing first-hand the consequences and effects of their actions which can help them come to terms with their behaviour and help reduce the chance of them reoffending in future. See Jason’s Story to see how he felt about taking part in RJ https://restorativejustice.org.uk/resources/jasons-story-1 (can you check with RJ Council that we can have this video too)
How to take part in Restorative Justice
If you would like to know more about Restorative Justice, please complete the on-line Referral Form. Alternatively you can contact us by phone on (phone number) or email (email).
On receipt of your computerised Referral Form a member of the Restorative Justice Hub team will contact you to discuss RJ further.
Remember that Restorative Justice will always be at your pace; the process is voluntary and you can choose to withdraw at any time.
Download our service leaflet: Restorative Justice Leaflet
7 in 10 people who use our Restorative Justice service are happy with the outcome.