The Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent & Medway commissions Restorative Solutions to deliver their Restorative Justice service
When a crime has been committed or an incident has occurred, Restorative Justice offers an opportunity for the victim, the offender and sometimes members of the community to come together to discuss how to repair the harm caused.
The Victims’ Code states that the police should inform victims about how they can take part in Restorative Justice. The victim and offender’s participation is always voluntary.
Restorative Justice can be a very powerful tool in reducing reoffending. It enables victims to tell offenders the real impact of their crimes, get answers and possibly receive an apology. It also gives offenders the chance to understand what they have done, take responsibility for their actions and consider ways to make amends for their behaviour.
Restorative Justice can be used at any point during the criminal justice process - or even after someone is found guilty - provided both the victim(s) and offender(s) are willing. Historical cases are also catered for.
What are the benefits of restorative justice?
There are several benefits for a victim going through the restorative justice process. Often, they want to understand why a crime happened to them, and what the offender's motivation was. They also want the assurance that the offender will not harm anyone else in the future. Communicating with the offender enables a victim to get the answers to these questions and to help them move on with their lives.
Restorative justice also helps the offender with their own rehabilitation. By helping the offender face up to the consequences of what they have done, the process can prompt them to begin to think about changing their future behaviour. The offender has the chance not just to say sorry and feel sorry, but to make better life choices and improve their prospects.
To find out more contact RJKent@restorativesolutions.org.uk
Jacqui McHugh, Service Delivery Manager RJ Kent & Medway