What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative justice gives victims of crime the help they need to recover. Many victims feel silenced by a criminal justice system which leaves them standing on the side lines. Restorative Justice puts their needs first.

Restorative Justice is a process which allows victims to communicate with the offender, with the aim of them meeting in a face to face conference.

Many victims want a chance to ask questions about the crime, and to explain the impact it had on them. They want to tell the offender what they can do to help repair the harm. Restorative Justice allows victims to do this. That is why 85% of victims who go through Restorative Justice are satisfied with the experience. You can read the 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 if victims would prefer to communicate by phone or video shuttle this 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. It is not designed as an alternative to punishment or to let offenders off lightly. It is a way of giving victims back their voice, and of helping offenders understand the damage they have done.  That understanding also helps to prevent future victims, with a significant drop in re-offending for people who go through the process.

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.


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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