About us

Why me? are a national charity delivering and promoting Restorative Justice for everyone affected by crime and conflict.

Many victims of crime feel sidelined by the criminal justice process. Restorative Justice gives them the chance to ask questions about the incident, explain the impact that it had on them, and have a say in how the harm can be repaired. This restorative dialogue transforms lives by helping people affected by crime to recover, and helping people who commit crime to stop. 

Our Story

Why me? began with a crime.

Will Riley, an Islington business man, was burgled by Peter Woolf. Peter assaulted Will in his house, and was arrested while trying to escape. The ten minute video below tells their remarkable story.

Will met Peter in Pentonville prison through Restorative Justice. He was angry. The crime had affected him greatly, making him afraid every time he opened his front door. Following his meeting with Peter, he felt like he better understood what had happened and why. He was glad to have explained how much harm Peter had done to him, not allowed him to duck responsibility, and directed him towards a better path.

Peter has continued living on this better path ever since. Having previously committed, by his own reckoning, over 20,000 crimes, Peter never offended again after meeting Will. Seeing the damage he had done encouraged Peter to change his life.

Will set up Why me? with Peter’s help, to fight for more people to have the opportunity to access Restorative Justice. It changed their lives, and they want to see it change many more people’s lives in the future.

They remain good friends, and continue to campaign for wider access to Restorative Justice.

Our campaigning

We campaign for the wider use of Restorative Justice across the country. Our current campaigns focus on:

We also recently finished a broader long term project on improving the provision of Restorative Justice for hate crime

Findings from our work, and wider evidence about the benefits of Restorative Justice, can be found on our evidence page.

We work with police, probation services, restorative providers, community groups and others to improve understanding and access to Restorative Justice. We also lobby Government to make policy changes which will unlock this opportunity for more people affected by crime. 

All victims of crime are entitled to information about Restorative Justice under the Victims’ Code of Practice. But only 5% of victims with a known offender recall being given this information. This needs to change. We would like to see Restorative Justice used increasingly in Out of Court Disposals and Youth Referral Orders, as they offer opportunities to avoid lengthy and sometimes traumatising court processes, and give people a chance to make amends following a crime. And we want Restorative Justice to be an option which everyone affected by crime has the opportunity to consider for themselves. This would improve the experience of people affected by crime in the UK, and benefit the criminal justice system.

Our service

We run our own accredited Restorative Justice service. Our trained and experienced facilitators work with both parties to help them access the form of Restorative Justice which is best suited to them – whether this is a face to face meeting or indirect communication. Restorative Justice only goes ahead with both informed consent from the person who was harmed and the perpetrator.

Are you a journalist interested in Restorative Justice? Read our guidance for media professionals interested in Restorative Justice.

 

Meet the team

Why me? have a small but growing team of staff. All of us are committed to fighting for victim’s ability to access Restorative Justice. Read more about our roles and backgrounds.

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Trustees

Why me? have a dedicated team of trustees who work with the staff to help give more victims access to Restorative Justice. Our team includes people with experience in policing, probation, third sector governance, and the criminal justice sector.

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© 2020 Why me? Charity no. 1137123. Company no. 6992709.

To find out more about our Restorative service and policy work during COVID-19,please click here