Restorative justice services

The Victims’ Code states that victims have a right to be informed about and take part in restorative justice after experiencing a crime.

Restorative justice brings those harmed by crime, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

It gives victims the chance to have their say, explain to the person who harmed them the impact and consequences of their behaviour, to get answers to their questions, and to move forward with their lives.

It gives the offender the opportunity to listen to the person they’ve harmed, and answer any questions that person might have. They might apologise for what they’ve done, and can agree with the person they’ve harmed what they can do to personally make things better for them.

Government research has shown that 85% of victims were satisfied with the restorative justice they were involved with. The research also concluded that restorative justice can reduce the frequency of reoffending by up to 27%.

How does restorative justice work?

  • The offender must accept responsibility for the harm caused by their actions.
  • The victim and offender must both be willing to participate.
  • Restorative justice can only take place if a trained facilitator decides it would be safe and suitable.
  • The facilitator will speak to the victim and offender to discuss what has happened and explore different restorative process options.
  • During the process, everyone will get to have their say and can agree actions to address the harm.
  • If a restorative conference takes place, the victim and the offender can be supported by a friend, family member or other supporter.
  • In some cases a meeting may not be suitable, but the process may be undertaken by another form of communication.

Victim Support runs restorative justice services in various locations throughout England and Wales. Our services and restorative justice facilitators are trained to national standards and are able to deliver safe and effective restorative justice interventions.

We support the right for all victims to be made aware of restorative justice and how they can take part. We believe that the needs of the victim should be put first, ensuring that victims know how restorative justice can benefit them and that they can get involved when it is right for them.

You can find out more about how we keep your data safe and process personal information on our Privacy notice.

Victim Support is the oldest victims’ charity in the world, with more than 50 years’ experience of supporting and working with people affected by crime.

We’re able to advise victims about restorative justice and, where appropriate, refer them on to a restorative justice service. Our volunteers have received specialist training about restorative justice and are able to discuss the process with victims.

Our direct links with victims of crime put us in a unique position to assess the needs of victims and provide appropriate support. We can also support victims before, during and after a restorative justice process.

You can read more in our leaflet about restorative justice [PDF].

If you’ve experienced crime and would like to find out more about taking part in restorative justice, please contact your local Victim Support team.