Restorative Approaches and Violence Reduction

Gary Stephenson, Executive Chairman of Restorative Solutions, is the author of a new paper which looks into Restorative Approaches and Violence Reduction. Here is an excerpt from the paper in which Gary explores why a restorative justice approach can help both the recovery of victims and reduce the likelihood of reoffending: 

There is now a considerable evidence-base supporting the use of RJ in the criminal justice context. A summary of the evidence presented here examines four main areas of impact: effects on victims, effects on re-offending, financial implications, and getting cases brought to justice. A full reference list is attached at Appendix A. 

Impact of Restorative Justice Conference on victims of crime 

• 72% of RJ victims were either satisfied or very satisfied; much higher than conventional approaches 

• There was an 85% satisfaction rate with face-to-face RJ conferencing 

• 78% would recommend RJ conferencing to others 

• RJ conferences led to 49% fewer cases of victims with clinical levels of post-traumatic stress symptoms 

• There were 36% fewer symptoms of post- traumatic stress in general 

• 62% of victims in the UK studies said that RJ had made them feel better 

• A greater proportion of RJ victims said that they felt more secure after their case had been dealt with, compared to victims who experienced the court process only 

• Only 5% of RJ victims believed that their offender would commit the same offence against them 

• RJ provided 72% of victims with some degree of closure, thus enabling them to move on from the offence 

• ‘Face to face interaction and getting to know what the other party is like’ has been shown to bring strong benefits to victims of crime where they are willing to engage in RJ 

Effects on Reoffending 

• 7% to 45% fewer repeat offences over the two years following RJ conference 

 • There are 22% fewer re-convictions following a RJ conference

Financial Implications

• RJ is estimated to have saved the criminal justice system nearly twice as much money as the scheme’s cost. 

 • There is an £8 saving for the Criminal Justice Sector for every pound spent, and this excludes health savings.

You can download and read the full paper 


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What people say about Restorative Solutions

I'm so glad I am working with RJ. I don't know who would listen to me if it wasn’t for you.
A Person Harmed by Crime
RJ is very underrated and I certainly think we should be using it more.
A Professional who Referred Someone into our Service
Very satisfied – it’s been a great service. A worthwhile process for me and I hope for the offenders. Staff have been great and I would like to thank them.
A victim
It was the right thing to do. Both victims told me to let go of what happened. I didn't want to hear it but they both forgave me and said I should move on. I have taken that on and thought about it and I have come to terms with what happened. You've helped me significantly. It's as though my head has been lifted of a gigantic weight.
An Offender
Thanks for your time today. I feel like you understand R so well, I really hope you can help him to learn how to be happy.
Feedback from a family in East Kent
Restorative Justice offers a unique opportunity for victims and survivors to move on from and overcome the trauma that can be left with them after experiencing crime. I am exceedingly proud of the work that the team at Restorative Solutions do in supporting our community. We should always consider the needs of victims of crime and this service exemplifies that sentiment and allows so many to put behind them what can be the worst experience of their lives.
Marc Jones, Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

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