Restorative Justice FAQs
This page includes a number of Frequently Asked Questions about Restorative Justice.
How does Restorative Justice work?
Navigating your way through the criminal justice process is confusing for most professionals and can be equally daunting for a victim of crime wanting to access Restorative Justice (RJ).
Our team are here to support you through the process, so please do get in touch here with any questions you may have.
A victim’s guide to restorative justice
How Long will the Restorative Justice process take?
Whilst it is difficult to say exactly, our facilitators are guided by the participants and will things moving at a desired pace
How can Restorative Justice benefit me?
Restorative Justice (RJ) can help you to move forward. It is an opportunity to tell your offender how their actions impacted you and to talk about the harm caused in a structured and supportive environment. It is a chance to ask questions and hopefully receive some answers. Many victims express their satisfaction with the RJ process and report it has helped them overcome trauma, regain confidence and feel empowered. Read about other people’s experiences.
What happens in a RJ meeting?
RJ meetings are run by trained facilitators. They bring together the person who has suffered harm, the person who has caused harm, and their supporters in a safe environment. The length of a meeting can vary and can take place in a prison, probation office or neutral third party venue. In the meeting each participant is asked:
- How did you become aware of what happened?
- What were you thinking and feeling at the time and now?
- Who has been affected and how?
- What needs to happen to make things better?
There is a separate space if anyone needs time to themselves at any point during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, outcomes are agreed, written down and signed by the participants.
What types of crime do you work with?
We work with people affected by any type of crime. We are unable to accept requests from offenders of domestic violence and sexual offences, but will consider requests from victims of such crimes. If you are unsure, please call us on 020 3096 7708.
What are the risks of Restorative Justice?
Prior to a RJ meeting facilitators undertake assessments to ensure safety. RJ is a voluntary process and whilst the facilitators work hard to prepare participants, we cannot guarantee the other party’s engagement with the process.
How will I be supported through the Restorative Justice process?
Your facilitators will work with you throughout the RJ process and you will be encouraged to think about who you would like to support you in a RJ meeting. This could be a friend, family member, colleague or professional. The facilitators will meet them to ensure they are prepared for the meeting.
I am really angry about what happened, can I still take part in RJ?
It is understandable to be really angry and this usually won’t prevent you from taking part. Being able to express how you feel is a key part to moving forward and our RJ facilitators will support you in this.
Do I have to forgive the perpetrator/s?
Forgiveness is a very personal choice and is by no means a requirement or expectation.
I am an external organisation, how can I access your service for my client?
If you would like to talk about a potential RJ referral, please contact us either by telephone on 0203 096 7708 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I make a complaint or feedback about the service?
As an organisation we strive to offer a Restorative Justice Service where all are treated fairly and are respected. If this hasn’t been your experience we would like to hear from you. Why me – RJ Service Complaints Procedure.
To find out about your local RJ service, see the England and Wales RJ map or contact us on 0203 096 7708 if you have any questions.