Our campaigns aim to increase access to Restorative Justice for victims of crime in England and Wales. We do this by celebrating good practice, highlighting gaps, working with practitioners and decision-makers and doing our own research.
Improving restorative practice for young people
This three year project aims to improve access to Restorative Justice for young people who have committed crimes, and the people harmed by their actions. We are particularly focussing on people from BAME communities, who are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
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Our Valuing Victims Campaign highlights the benefits of Restorative Justice to victims of crime, and the challenges which they face in accessing it.
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Inclusive Restorative Justice during COVID-19
This project focuses on the development of Restorative Justice resources for people affected by crime and the professionals supporting them. The fund was made available following the COVID-19 outbreak, in order to support people who are affected by the pandemic.
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Work on Hate Crime
Why me? have done significant work on increasing access to Restorative Justice for people affected by hate crime, through our Access to Justice series. Victims of hate are particularly unlikely to be given the opportunity of Restorative Justice, despite the specific potential for RJ to address some of the harms caused by hate crime, and help to change hateful behaviour.
These projects have now concluded. You can read about our findings below.
Why me? worked in partnership with three police forces to help them increase the use of Restorative Justice for people affected by hate crime. We worked in partnership with police, victim services, restorative providers and other specialist organisations to understand what barriers are currently preventing people affected by hate from accessing Restorative Justice. We also spoke to representatives of community groups, and many people who had experienced hate crime about how the restorative process could be adapted to meet the needs of particular communities.
We collected our findings in a policy and a best practice paper, which have been distributed to police forces across the country. Many police forces and restorative services have taken our recommendations on board, and we are glad to have increased understanding and best practice about such an important issue. We continue to work with policy makers on what changes can unlock the opportunity of Restorative Justice to more people affected by hate, and advising police areas on best practice where needed.
Why me? worked with police forces, youth offending teams, parent-teacher associations and civil society organisations to improve hate crime victims’ access to Restorative Justice in Lambeth and Southwark.
We worked to identify groups who are particularly affected by hate in these two boroughs, and to find out about the barriers, needs and considerations that should be taken into account. We achieved this through working with community groups, and hearing their feedback.
This project promoted Restorative Justice as a method of addressing LGBT+ hate crime across London. Working with LGBT+ organisations such as Galop, we built up referral links which enabled our service to pick up a number of cases of LGBT+ hate crime which we could deal with restoratively. We also ran a number of Restorative Justice awareness sessions with LGBT+ community groups, gave LGBT+ training to our staff, and developed a guidance booklet for LGBT+ hate crime and Restorative Justice.
Why me? and the Parole Board worked together to support better understanding of Restorative Justice among the Parole Board’s panel members, and better understanding of the Parole Board among Restorative Justice services and practitioners. This led to two leaflets being produced and disseminated to increase this mutual understanding, and victim awareness training being provided by the victim of a serious crime who had benefited from Restorative Justice.
Many people will carry out their own research to self-refer to Restorative Justice. But how easy is this information to find?
Using a volunteer to play the part of a victim of crime, we tested how easy it is to find information about Restorative Justice in each police area. Each Police and Crime Commissioner was sent a detailed report of our findings and they were invited to make changes to improve the information available to victims of crime. We have subsequently reviewed the PCC websites to see if changes have been made. We were pleased to see that 25 out of the 41 PCC areas had made changes since we published our findings.