Restorative justice brings an offender/harmer and their victim together so that they can talk (or communicate in other ways) through what happened.
Our judicial process is not always enough for a victim. Sometimes rather than relief, victims may feel frustrated they were not able to describe the hurt, stress and anxiety caused, to the one individual who needed to hear it most, the offender.
Restorative Justice is a victim focused resolution to crime.
It empowers those harmed, giving them a chance to meet or communicate with their harmer, to explain the real impact of the crime and to seek a direct explanation from them about what they did.
It holds offenders to account and requires them to take responsibility for what they have done, to consider how they may make amends to put things right and repair the harm they have caused, or apologise.
Offenders may have an increased respect for themselves by showing regard for how others have been affected by their behaviour and actions. It enables them to consider the impact of their behaviour on their victim, but also others such as their family and the greater community.
Restorative Justice does not replace the Criminal Justice
system, but can help deal with emotions and stress caused by crime, so the person harmed can hopefully move on with their life, or get some closure after a traumatic time. If Restorative Justice is something you
How does it work?
Restorative Justice can only take place in cases where someone has been convicted or found guilty of a crime.
There are several methods that can be used. Both the harmer
and person harmed have to agree if they would like to meet face to face in a Restorative Justice Conference. This gives the harmed person the opportunity to tell their harmer directly how they feel and have been affected.
Other methods can include communication via letters where a harmed person can write down how they have been affected and that will be given to the person who caused the harm, by video or audio conferencing, or by communication via a Restorative Justice facilitator. These will allow the person responsible for the harm to fully understand the impact they have made on someone’s life.
If Restorative Justice is something you would like to consider, please speak to the officer in charge of your crime or fill out this online form.
Please see below for a short film for victims of crime explaining the different points in the criminal justice system where they can access restorative justice. It also tell who they can contact if they want to make use of this approach. For this, and more films and stories or people who have experienced restorative justice, you can visit the Restorative Justice Council website.