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: