The Evidence supporting Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice works. It helps victims of crime to move forward with their lives, and reduces rates of repeated offending.

Why me? are fighting for those affected by crime to have access to Restorative Justice. Our campaigns have produced evidence which support its use.

Making Restorative Justice Happen for Hate Crime

Why me? is fighting for victims of hate crime to have the option of Restorative Justice. Following a two year project, we have published two papers on how to make Restorative Justice happen for hate crime.

These reports follow the Access to Justice: Delivering Restorative Justice for hate crime project. We worked in partnership with three police areas: Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Avon & Somerset, to improve provision of Restorative Justice for hate crime, and to appreciate the barriers which prevent victims of hate crime from being given the option of Restorative Justice.

The papers give a clear checklist of actions which can unlock this option for victims of hate crime.

Making Restorative Justice happen for hate crime in your police area gives recommendations to restorative providers, police, victim staff and Police and Crime Commissioners about how to increase the use of Restorative Justice for hate crime in their police area.

Making Restorative Justice happen for hate crime across the country gives recommendations to national policy makers – including the Ministry of Justice, Home Office and Crown Prosecution Service – about how to ensure that victims of hate across England and Wales are offered Restorative Justice.

The right to choose Restorative Justice

The 2019 Crime Survey for England and Wales found that only 1 in 20 adult victims with a known offender recalled being given the option of Restorative Justice that year. 

We believe that all victims of crime should be informed about Restorative Justice, and offered a referral to their local Restorative Justice provider.

This paper explains the basis for our position, and gives recommendations for how to increase the number of victims who are offered a restorative process.

Restorative Policing

Restorative Policing is a style of policing which incorporates restorative values, such as listening to all parties, working towards a shared way forward, and not being overly reliant on enforcement.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Four Es guidance was published by the College of Policing and National Police Chiefs’ Council, outlining how to police the unprecedented restrictions on what members of the public can do.

This guidance was a great example of restorative policing, and we welcome it. We would like to see similar guidance published which explains how restorative policing can be used in a broader range of situations; far beyond the policing of the pandemic. We would like to see restorative policing principles incorporated into the way that police forces operate across the country. 

Valuing Victims

Our Valuing Victims project looks at Government funding for Restorative Justice, how it is spent in different areas, and what outcomes have been achieved. 

The most recent Valuing Victims report was published in March 2020. Why me? obtained data on Restorative Justice for each PCC area through a Freedom of Information request, and have analysed the responses. 

Key Findings

Victims who experience Restorative Justice have shown

  1. Improved health and well being
  2. Being better able to cope with aspects of life
  3. Increased feeling of safety
  4. Being better informed and empowered

You can read the most recent report: “Valuing Victims: A Review of Police and Crime Commissioners’ Delivery of Restorative Justice 2018/19” and our previous work in the Valuing Victims series below.

Evidence for Restorative Justice

A wide range of research and practice has shown the benefits of Restorative Justice.

The UK Government funded a seven year research programme into Restorative Justice in 2001. Findings from this research showed that Restorative Justice produced:

  • 85% satisfaction rate for victims
  • 14% reduction in repeated offending
  • £9 savings for the Criminal Justice System for every £1 spent on Restorative Justice.

We have gathered the evidence for Restorative Justice below:

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