Restorative Justice in Dorset

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset commissions Restorative Solutions to deliver their Restorative Justice service.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims, offenders and the wider community, as opposed to simply punishing the offender. Restorative Justice is victim focussed and lets victims tell offenders the real impact of their crime.

Restorative Justice is shown to improve victim satisfaction and reduce re-offending.

Restorative Justice holds offenders, either young people or adults, directly accountable to their victims and can bring them together in a facilitated meeting. It can be an alternative way of dealing with a crime and/or anti-social behaviour rather than going through a more formal route using the courts. However, it can also operate alongside the criminal justice system, in response to a more serious crime.

Restorative Justice often improves victim satisfaction levels by enabling them to have a say in the way a crime or incident is dealt with. Victims are empowered and are able to suggest how the offender can acknowledge the impact of their actions and make up for some of the harm caused by their behaviour.

The process enables a victim to understand why they were victimised and offers closure assisting them to move on from the experience.

Evaluation found that 85% of victims that participated in the conferencing method of Restorative Justice were satisfied with the experience. The MoJ fully accepts these findings and so supports a face-to-face meeting being the aim of Restorative Justice intervention, but with a suitable alternative being used where the meeting is against the wishes of the participants or is not safe.

Restorative Justice ensures the wider community has a direct voice to explain the impact an offender’s behaviour has had on the local area, and to help inform the outcome. Without formal criminal justice sanctions, there may continue to be repeat incidents of the same issue if victims and offenders have not resolved their differences. An Restorative Justice process at an early stage can prevent minor incidents becoming more serious.

Want to find out more?


Jackie Willson, Service Delivery Manager RJ Dorset


Further information is available on these websites:

RJ Dorset

Dorset PPC

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What people say about Restorative Solutions

I'm so glad I am working with Restorative Justice. I don't know who would listen to me if it wasn’t for you.
A Person Harmed by Crime
Restorative Justice 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.

Case Studies

A Creeper Burglary: Restorative Justice Case Study

This was a case of an overnight “creeper” burglary in a residential area where the harmer had gained access through an u...

A Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse: Restorative Justice Case Study

The victim in this non-recent child sexual abuse case was a 56-year-old woman called Lisa. Her father sexually abused he...

A Robbery: Restorative Justice Case Study

This Restorative Justice case saw Jamie and Ruth openly communicate in a face-to-face conference. Years before, Jamie at...

A Manslaughter: Restorative Justice Case Study

We received a referral from a Victim Liaison Officer who was working on a manslaughter case. The grandmother advised the...

A Workplace Assault: Restorative Justice Case Study

Nick worked at a clothing shop. When he noticed Glenn, a customer, shoplifting, Nick stepped in to challenge him. The po...

An Attempted Burglary: Restorative Justice Case Study

When Joanne and her husband had just gone to bed, they heard a really loud bang downstairs. They immediately thought som...

Death by Drug Overdose: A Restorative Justice Case Study

A young woman passed away after she was supplied Class A drugs. The person who supplied these drugs was convicted and se...

Firearms Offence: A Restorative Justice Case Study

The offender in this case had been suffering with issues affecting his mental health which he tried to manage with alcoh...

Fraud: A Restorative Justice Case Study

The offender defrauded a woman he was in an intimate relationship with, stealing over £50,000 over a course of months. T...

Harmful Sexual Behaviour: A Restorative Justice Case Study

The offender had sexually abused her young daughter, taking inappropriate photographs that were distributed to a third p...

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Insights, Articles & Advice

Language barriers in Restorative Justice meetings

Where necessary, we use an external translator service to help victims and offenders communicate....

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Restorative Justice & Harmful Sexual Behaviour: A Commentary

Tony Walker, Director of Practice Delivery, spoke to NOTA News about the use of Restorative Justice following cases of h...

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What are Restorative Justice preparation meetings?

Preparation meetings are an important part of Restorative Justice, when trained facilitators can identify the specifics ...

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