About Restorative Justice...is it appropriate for you?
Conflict between people is inevitable, but when it occurs, restorative justice can help to restore the balance in a just and fair way. In resolving the harm done it can work to prevent it happening again. Facing-up...it means cutting through the 'defensive' attitudes that prisoners take to their crimes. Burglars will often say..."they've committed no violence, the insurance covers the costs, so where is the Victim?" The truth is that a huge amount of damage is done when a home is broken into...the psychological harm can lead to marriages breaking up! People can become afraid to leave their home...they think they're being targeted and being watched!
Facing-up...to the fact that someone is on the receiving end! For example someone who has been 'drug-dealing' in their view to feed their own habit? They might say: "I'm only drug dealing, they want the drugs anyway...there aren't any victims!" But, when they see and hear from a mother of a girl who died of a drug overdose, they hear the human tragedy...the pain suffered by the parents and siblings. How their behaviour can affect families...it has a profound effect...not always, but often...it can provide the trigger for wanting to change.
What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice is the process of bringing together those harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward.
In criminal justice, restorative processes give victims the chance to:
- tell offenders the real impact of their crime
- get answers to their questions
- get an apology
Restorative justice holds offenders to account for what they have done. It helps them understand the real impact, take responsibility, and make amends.
What role does the Ministry of Justice play?
We work with the Youth Justice Board, the National Offender Management Service, Police forces and other criminal justice agencies to enable greater victim awareness and to encourage use of restorative justice.
Who do we work with?
Restorative Justice Council - the Restorative Justice Council provides quality assurance and the national voice for the field of restorative practice.
The Ministry of Justice is really getting behind Restorative Justice and we are launching a campaign to raise awareness during Restorative Justice Week. We hope the campaign will increase the usage of Restorative Justice and make it more accessible for everyone.
The Ministry of Justice has developed a series of communications materials, to help:
- inform the general public about Restorative Justice and the benefits it brings
- share some powerful case studies
- host local events for Restorative Justice Week and promote them
- inspire and encourage more people to get involved with Restorative Justice
Crown Prosecution Service...Restorative Justice Information: www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/restorative_justice/
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