What are the key requirements for Restorative Justice?
Victim is willing to take part in the process
An offender has been identified, who acknowledges what they have done and is willing to take part in the process
The process is facilitated by a trained Restorative Justice practitioner in a safe environment
Structured process to establish the facts and identify how it has affected all involved
Is Restorative Justice available for all types of offences?
Restorative Justice can be available across all offence types, subject to an appropriate risk assessment and the key requirements being met.
Do I have to meet the person who committed the offence?
Involvement in Restorative Justice is based upon informed choice and all interventions are risk assessed to ensure the emotional and physical safety of all those involved.
If a face-to-face conference is not deemed safe or if either individual chooses not to take part in this way, there are other methods of communication which can take place between participants, i.e. the exchange of letters/messages via third party practitioners or with the use of audio equipment where appropriate.
What if I change my mind half way through?
As highlighted above, restorative interventions are completely voluntary and those involved have the choice as to whether they wish to continue with the process at all stages.
Restorative practitioners will explore the reasons given for a decision change and will offer additional support and information if this is required, but will not pressure participants to continue if they have decided against involvement.
Does Restorative Justice have an impact on reducing the offender’s sentence?
Restorative Justice is delivered at various stages within stages the criminal justice system as per below: As part of an out of court disposal – Restorative Justice can be offered as part of an alternative to a Caution **prosecution** for young people/adults who have committed low – level offences.
The person harmed by the offence and the person responsible must consent to take part. This is often delivered by the Police or by Community Justice Panel Volunteers. Pre-sentence – Courts are now able to defer a sentence for a period of up to six months to allow Restorative Justice to take place between the person harmed and the person responsible for the offence where both parties consent to take part.
The outcome of the intervention will be shared with the Judge and this may inform the sentencing outcome.
Post sentence – Restorative Justice takes place between the person harmed and the person responsible for the offence following the sentence outcome and will not have an impact on reducing the sentence.