Getting your PCC on board: Restorative Justice budgeting for 2024-25

Published: Friday, August 4th, 2023

This is a blog by our Director Lucy Jaffé.


What is the cost benefit of Restorative Justice?

What tools can you use to understand the return on investment?

Is your Police and Crime Commissioner on board with Restorative Justice?


We want to support Restorative Justice services to show their Police and Crime Commissioners just how valuable the restorative work that they do is. Whilst those of us who work restoratively day-to-day can see the real-life benefits of the process, decision-makers often rely on the economic viability of a process to decide how much to invest. Investment in Restorative Justice is crucial in ensuring that people affected by crime can access the resources they need to heal and move on.

Why me?’s economic evaluation tool enables services, Police and Crime Commissioners, and their offices, as well as Regional Probation Directors, to model the cost benefit of Restorative Justice for their region. Using your own data, you can analyse the value of investment in this powerful intervention to inform budget allocations for 2024-25. 

In March this year, Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “With a quarter of convicted offenders proven to reoffend within a year – with an average of three to four proven reoffences per reoffender – Restorative Justice is a way of stopping the trend. Using the tools provided by the Why me? work, the Team were able to calculate benefits in the county for 2022 which totalled £533,504.18. The figures break down to a total cost per direct intervention in Essex of £4,116.88, with total benefits per intervention of £48,145.55. This shows that Restorative Justice has many benefits, helping people to make peace, make amends and ultimately save our society money.”

Read more about Essex’s experience

There has been a lot of excitement generated by the research, carried out by health economist Frank Grimsey Jones, since it was published by Why me? in November 2022. Academics, commissioners and Restorative Justice services in the UK, Europe and globally have been impressed by the rigour of the research and its practical application. In a recent Smarter Financing roundtable discussion with Strathclyde University, Child Friendly Justice Network and the UN Foundation among others, the research and model were highlighted as excellent examples of applied smarter financing. 

As your Police and Crime Commissioner prepares their budgets for the next financial year, we welcome you to use our economic model to demonstrate the financial benefit of your service’s work to decision-makers. There are clear and simple instructions prepared by Frank in short videos. If you are a commissioner or budget holder, you are also welcome to contact to arrange a one-to-one. 


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