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 them the chance to ask questions about the crime. They can explain how it has impacted them and seek assurance that the person responsible won’t do something similar again. This is what many people affected by crime want, which 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.

This short film is based on a real Restorative Justice meeting. One woman talks about the impact on her life of being burgled and the other 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.

A Restorative Justice conference only goes ahead with both parties’ consent. It is mediated by a trained facilitator, who speaks to both parties 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 if appropriate.

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. 

We run our own Restorative Justice service for those who can’t access a restorative process from their local provider.

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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