A restorative process: Identifying Key Performance Indicators for the Youth Justice Board

Published: Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

This is a blog written by our Restorative Justice Development Officer (Youth Justice), Leah Robinson on September 22nd. This blog was updated on November 10th. 

The Youth Justice Board has introduced a tenth Key Performance Indicator (KPI) which will track engagement with Restorative Justice.

This comes after Why me? submitted a series of recommendations that were developed as part of a restorative consultation we held alongside Oxfordshire Youth Justice Service’s Senior RJ Practitioner, Pete Wallis. The Youth Justice Board and the Ministry of Justice worked collaboratively on the development of the new set of KPIs.

The KPI records the number of victims resulting from offences committed by children on the YJS caseload, the number contacted, and the number engaged in Restorative Justice opportunities as well as those who requested and were given further information and support.

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) embarked on reviewing and refreshing its Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for Youth Justice Services nationally earlier this year. They developed a selection of nine KPIs, but there was a distinct gap with regards to Restorative Justice (RJ). Following encouragement from youth justice practitioners and organisations, including Why me?, the YJB agreed to a tenth KPI focused on RJ and victims of crime. 

Alongside Pete Wallis, Why me? took this opportunity to make recommendations with regards to the specific wording of this tenth KPI. 

Why me? wanted to ensure that restorative practitioners within the Youth Justice sector were able to feed into the recommendation we made to the YJB in order to ensure it was a restorative process. Therefore, on the 5th August, Why me? held an online forum to consult practitioners about what they would like to see included in the YJB’s Key Performance Indicators.

The online forum brought together 30 professionals working in the Youth Justice sector across England and Wales to discuss what they would like to see included in the KPI. The attendees discussed the importance of consistent monitoring and evaluation of Restorative Justice within the youth sector. They were able to discuss any areas of concern with Youth Justice professionals accordingly, leading to the culmination of an agreed upon KPI to recommend to the YJB. 

Why me? asked the attendees what they would like to see in this tenth KPI as an open question. After hearing the practitioners’ responses, we then presented an example template of what the KPI could look like, asking for thoughts, comments and feedback with regards to its appropriateness and wording. 

Three key points of discussion were raised: 

1. Satisfaction

Victim satisfaction was raised as something which is incredibly important to be measured. Measuring victim satisfaction can develop the ways in which the Youth Justice Services work and help to identify the ways in which the needs of victims of crime are being met, in order to ensure that they feel safe. We concluded that the KPI should measure victim satisfaction in relation to whether their involvement with the service provided by the YJS met their needs. 

2. Relationships

There were interesting conversations amongst attendees of the forum with regards to whether the relationship between the victim/harmed and offender/harmer should be measured. This could be, for example, where the harmed person is the parent of the harmer. The group suggested that this would help to identify issues that need to be addressed, such as repeat offending or repeat victimisation, but noted the practical difficulties around collecting this data.

3. Profile of victims of crime 

The group highlighted the importance of having information on the profile of victims of crime in order to enable services to identify and increase inclusivity and accessibility. There are various ways in which this could be measured, such as:

  1. Breakdown of protected characteristics
  2. Relationship to the young person, as per the second point 
  3. Type of victim (i.e. individual or commercial)
  4. Number of victims where information has not obtained
  5. Whether someone is a repeat victim

There were also suggestions for measuring the number of victims of crime that don’t want to engage, with particular reference to gang-related offences. Attendees of the forum discussed the possibility of measuring how many identified victims of crime were contacted and subsequently how many were offered a restorative approach. 

However, there was a concern that measuring and recording the profile of victims of crime may violate a victim’s ‘right to be forgotten’. Additionally, the fact that in many instances Youth Justice Services do not receive, or are not able to obtain the necessary information to document this was flagged as an issue.

Despite this, the overriding conclusion was that there is a need for the KPI to measure the profile of victims of crime. This would help services to identify whether they are inclusive in delivery and instances of repeat victimisation.

Why me?, together with Pete Wallis, submitted our recommendations for the tenth KPI to the YJB following the forum we held, taking into account everyone’s comments and suggestions. We ensured that everyone’s opinions were heard and all concerns are taken into account. As a result, Why me? were able to ensure that the final KPI recommendations were made as a result of a restorative process, which we embrace throughout all of our work. 

We are delighted that the Ministry of Justice listened to the voice of YOTs and restorative practitioners and have re-introduced a KPI around victims and Restorative Justice. The process of drafting this KPI was truly collaborative and restorative. Thank you for your involvement in the consultation process.

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