West Midlands Restorative Justice Event
On Tuesday 19th September 2017, a team from Why me? went to Restorative Justice Seminar held in Birmingham. The day brought together stakeholders from across West Midlands to review and inform delegates of the Restorative Justice service available to victims of crime.
In 2014 the RJ Birmingham Restorative Justice Service was formed, the project started as collaboration between Midland Heart and West Midland Police, working from the Lozzells and East Handsworth area of Birmingham.
The collaboration was then joined by Castle Vale with funding from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) through funds for RJ allocated by the Ministry of Justice. These funds also enabled the project was to expand to the North of the City. The service is now a joint collaboration between West Midlands Police and Registered Housing Providers working through Birmingham Social Housing Partnership (BSHP).
The Birmingham Partnership team works with numerous partners both internally and externally. This includes working with the voluntary sector, other law enforcement agencies and the local authority. This network allows RJ to be accessible to everyone and using the partnerships team if there are any barriers then these can be worked through swiftly. It is highly beneficial to work in a department which faces challenges but more importantly one which allows for new connections to be made, longer term problem solving to be enabled and everyone working together to keep communities safe. Leading the way is a dedicated team who are passionate about RJ and its potential.
Since July 2017 Why me?, who have been contracted by the PCC of West Midlands to provide support for serious and complex cases work, have worked closely with the West Midlands RJ team.
The West Midlands project has had great success. The project empowers victims, giving them resolution and closure to long standing crime and anti-social behaviour issues. In 2016 they received over 800 referrals, and delivered a 95% satisfaction rate from victims who have attended conference. Details of the project can be found at http://www.rjwestmidlands.c
The RJ West Midlands event in September provided an opportunity for Why me? to showcase our support for victims and offenders of serious crimes. Additional presentations were given to approximately 60 delegates included content on the neuroscience of RJ referencing the work of Daniel Reisel.
Additional work by Why me? is now ongoing with West Midlands victim services to expand the offer of RJ to additional victims of serious and complex crimes.