What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice conference

Restorative Justice empowers victims of crime to communicate with the offender, often with the aim of a face to face meeting.

This gives victims the chance to ask questions about the crime. They can explain how it has impacted them. They can seek reassurance that the person responsible won’t do something similar again. This is what many victims of crime want. That is why 85% of victims who go through Restorative Justice are satisfied with the experience. Restorative Justice also leads to a significant drop in re-offending, as it helps people who have committed crimes to recognise the harm they have caused. Here are stories from people who have had their lives changed by Restorative Justice.

A Restorative Justice conference only goes ahead with both parties’ consent. It is mediated by a trained facilitator, who speaks to the victim and offender in advance, and only organises a meeting if it safe to do so. A face-to-face meeting can bring the greatest benefits, but indirect communication, such as by phone or video shuttle can also be arranged.

Restorative Justice runs alongside the criminal justice process. It can be used alongside an out of court disposal, or a long prison sentence depending on the crime. 

This short film is based on a real Restorative Justice meeting. The victim talks about the impact on her life of being burgled and the offender talks about the reasons why she did it. Please note that this is a verbatim re-enactment of a Restorative Justice conference, but that the people in the film are actors.

Read more about the Restorative Justice process, look at Frequently Asked Questions, and find more resources about Restorative Justice below.

Restorative Justice FAQ

There are a lot of misconceptions about Restorative Justice, and victims understandably want to know all of the information before taking part. This tackles some of the most common questions which victims have about the process.

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Restorative Justice Resources

We have resources which you can watch and purchase if you are interested in Restorative Justice. These include DVDs about the process, a reenactment video, and the Woolf Within – a video about Peter and Will’s Restorative Justice meeting which led to the creation of Why me? We can also sell copies of Peter Woolf’s book: The Damage Done.

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