Restorative Justice in Merseyside
In Merseyside, the Police Crime Commissioner supports victims through the use of Restorative Justice.
What is Restorative Justice?
Becoming a victim of crime is often a traumatic experience. Many victims feel that their life has been turned upside down, and what was once normal and familiar no longer feels safe.
Whilst the criminal justice process deals with the offence, it can sometimes leave those harmed feeling that they don’t have a voice, that they have no control over the system and need answers to questions that simply cannot be provided during the formal process.
Restorative Justice can change this.
Restorative Justice brings together people harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm, it helps them find ‘closure’ and a positive way forward.
It gives victims a chance to explain to offenders the real impact of the crime and get answers to questions only offenders can provide. It allows victims to ask 'why me?' and provides them with the opportunity to challenge the offender’s behaviour.
Restorative Justice empowers victims, giving them the opportunity to meet or communicate with offenders in a safe environment.
It also holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and if appropriate to make amends, it can also help to stop reoffending.
For victims, meeting the person who has harmed them can be a huge step in moving forward and managing the impact of that crime.
Restorative Justice is not a ‘soft option’. Meetings between victims and offenders can be very powerful and have a huge impact on victim’s ability to ‘move on’.
For any kind of communication to take place the offender must have admitted to and take responsibility for the crime, both victim and offender must be willing to participate.
Benefits of Restorative Justice include allowing victims to ‘have a voice’, restoring their confidence, and allowing them to cope and recover from what can often be a horrendous life changing incident.
Want to find out more?
Anthony Hilton, Service Delivery Manager, RJ Merseyside
Further information is available on these websites: