How Restorative Justice has helped victims to cope and to recover

Restorative Justice works, and we have many testimonies from people who have been through the process and found it to be very positive. Case studies and quotes from both victims and offenders can be seen below.

Are certain crimes off limits for Restorative Justice?

No. Restorative Justice can be used for any crime where there is an identifiable victim and offender, as long as both parties agree to take part. Restorative Justice is available for all offences, and at any point after the offender has been sentenced.

Does Restorative Justice affect the sentence the offender gets?

If a case goes to court then sentencing is always up to the Judge. Restorative Justice is not an alternative to sentencing, it’s something that is used as well as it, usually after a sentence has been given, so has no impact on sentencing decisions.  The Judge is the only person who can decide on the appropriate sentence for the crime that the offender has committed.

Does Restorative Justice have to happen face-to-face?

Restorative Justice can be done both directly and indirectly. Direct Restorative Justice involves a face-to-face conference. If a victim or offender would prefer not to, or are unable to meet face-to-face, Indirect Restorative Justice can be facilitated through phone calls, video calls, letter writing, emails, or passing on messages through a third party.

Does Restorative Justice involve forgiveness?

Restorative Justice can sometimes involve forgiveness, but it doesn’t have to and it’s not expected to.

For some victims and survivors who engage in Restorative Justice, it is important to them that the offender takes full responsibility and is remorseful. However, there are some victims who engage in Restorative Justice because they just want an opportunity to tell the offender how the crime impacted them, and for the offender to think about the consequences of their actions.

How do Restorative Justice referrals work?

Both victims and offenders can self refer if they are interested in pursuing Restorative Justice. Victim referrals can also come from Victim Support or Victim Liaison Officers, support agencies and GPs. Offender referrals can come from police, probation, or prison officers. 

Is Restorative Justice mediated?

Absolutely. All Restorative Justice conferences are mediated by trained professionals, known as Restorative Justice Facilitators. Other organisations or individuals involved to best assess risk may also be present throughout the process.

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for offenders?

Restorative Justice helps offenders to see the impact of their actions.

It allows offenders the opportunity to apologise and explain.

It gives them the opportunity to make amends where possible.

It helps the offender put the crime behind them.

It reduces reoffending rates by 14%.

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for victims of crime?

Restorative Justice can reduce victim’s symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD after a crime takes place.

It empowers victims and gives them a chance to have their voice heard, taking back control.

It allows them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the crime, e.g ‘why me?’, ‘did you target me specifically?’.

It helps the victim put the crime behind them.

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Case Studies

A Racially Aggravated Public Order Offence

An Asian shopkeeper was verbally abused by the offender. This was a Police referral and the Restorative Justice c...

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Addressing Violence Within a Family

K contacted the Kent and Medway Restorative Justice Service following a serious violent episode carried out on her and her husband (P) by their ado...

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Assault At A Music Festival

Elizabeth was at her first music festival when she was attacked by a total stranger. She suffered bruising to her face and was badly shaken up. The...

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Assault Case

Kev received a conditional caution after he assaulted a stranger on a night out. As part of the conditional caution, he was required to have a disc...

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Fatal Collision: Sister Meets Driver Who Killed Her Brother

Many people would keep the deceased’s family and offender apart, leaving questions unanswered, shame unexplored, and bitterness to cause stress a...

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Lucy's Story

Lucy took part in Restorative Justice seven years after her ex-partner violently attacked her, and bravely shared her story with

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What People Say About Restorative Justice

The facilitators have been wonderful. I feel stronger than I did. I would really recommend Restorative Justice.

Mrs Wilson

I actually appreciated how quick the process happened.

Mr Atkinson, victim.

It was an opportunity to help the offender reform.

Mr Bird, victim.