Restorative justice

What would you do?

Source: Ministry of Justice UK

What is restorative justice?

Restorative justice (RJ) gives victims of crime the chance to meet or communicate with the offender and to explain the impact the offender’s actions have had on them.

It gives victims a voice and also holds offenders to account for what they have done. This can in turn help an offender to take responsibility and make amends for their actions.

RJ can help victims cope and recover from the impact of crime. It also reduces the likelihood of the offender committing further crimes.

How does it work?

All victims of any type of crime can ask for restorative justice if they wish. The process is completely voluntary and does not affect the criminal justice process in any way.

Restorative justice is used alongside the criminal justice system – it does not replace it. Choosing RJ does not allow an offender to “get off lightly”.

You can ask for RJ at any point in the criminal justice process at a time that feels right for you. RJ can only take place with both the victim and the offender’s consent.

If you decide you want to take part in RJ you will be given the support you need by a specialist mediator. The specialist we use in Devon and Cornwall is Make Amends

Why should I ask for restorative justice?

The benefits include:

  • RJ can help you to move on from a traumatic incident 
  • RJ can help you find answers to your questions
  • RJ gives you a voice and allows you to explain to an offender how their actions have impacted your life
  • RJ puts you in control of the situation
  • RJ can help prevent offenders from committing more crime

Who is it for?

All victims of crime have the right to ask for RJ if they want to. Your right to RJ is enshrined in the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime.

How do I get restorative justice?

If you contact the Victim Care Unit they can answer any questions you might have and arrange RJ for you. 

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