If you’ve been affected by crime, you might be offered the opportunity to take part in a restorative justice meeting, or conference.
Restorative justice (RJ) is an approach to trying to deal with the harm caused by crime and other conflicts. It involves bringing together victims and offenders to help you find answers, and to help the offender to fit back into society. Research shows many people find restorative justice helps them to move on with their lives after experiencing crime. It can also reduce the frequency of reoffending.
Restorative justice is a completely voluntary process and will only take place with the permission of participants.
How does restorative justice work?
- The offender must accept responsibility for the harm caused by their actions.
- Both you and the offender must be willing to participate.
- Restorative justice can only take place if a trained facilitator decides that it would be safe and suitable.
- The facilitator will speak to you and offender to discuss what has happened and prepare you for a meeting, often called a conference.
- In the meeting, everyone will get to have their say and can agree actions to address the harm.
- In appropriate cases, you and offender can invite agreed supporters to come with them.
- In some cases a meeting may not be suitable, but the process may be undertaken by another form of communication.