Restorative Justice Week 2023: #RJWorks

Published: Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

This is a blog by our Director, Lucy Jaffé.


Why does RJ work?This week we have focussed on how Restorative Justice works, where it works and for whom. What is so radical about Restorative Justice is that it transfers power to the people most involved in the crime or conflict so that they can decide how they want to move forward. So often in today’s world we are told what to do or tell others what to do. Restorative Justice gives us all the opportunity to talk from our own perspective, say how we feel and agree what we want to happen next with the people most affected. 

As the Founder of Why me?, Will Riley said to me last week, People like me who have attended an RJ meeting are not exceptional, it is not just for the few, the process of RJ enables all of us to be the exceptional person we always were.His restorative encounter with Peter Woolf in HMP Pentonville unlocked the potential for both men to move forward. 

Restorative Justice works for all aspects of life, including crime, education, workplaces and within families to build relationships. The results can be life-changing as people are supported to have difficult conversations and move past trauma or stuck thoughts, recovering from small and large-scale harm. We believe that Restorative Justice is a smarter form of justice at all levels. 

In this International Restorative Justice week, the Why me? team brought you a rich selection of talks, reports and podcasts to inform debate and build knowledge. Completely new out of the block is our Restorative Talks series – you can listen now to all three podcasts. Janika Cartwright gives a gripping personal account, a Restorative Justice overview is provided by me, and the third is a lively discussion about the future of Restorative Justice. Do have a listen and share with your networks!

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