Who benefits from Restorative Justice?

Victims often want to understand why the crime happened to them. They also want to play some part in the process of what happens to the person who committed the harm.

Victims want to know that they are not likely to be harmed by the same person again, and often they want to know that the offender will not harm anyone else in the future either.

By helping the offender to face up to the consequences of what they have done, Restorative Justice provides the offender with the chance to make a real difference to the victim, and to begin to think about changing their behaviour in the future.

Restorative Justice can help the offender to achieve a positive outcome for both the victim and themselves. It means that the offender has the chance not just to say sorry and feel sorry, but to do something about it.

Research shows that around 60% of victims offered the opportunity to participate in Restorative Justice say yes. For offenders, approached on the basis of having accepted responsibility/pleaded guilty and with a victim who wishes to participate, 75% say yes.

When can Restorative Justice take place?

Restorative Justice can be used to resolve harm and conflict caused by crime and can be used when the victim feels it would support them in their recovery.

It can take place at all stages of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), including Out-of-Court, Pre-Sentence (as part of either an adjournment between plea and sentence or as part of a deferred sentence), and Post-Sentence.

It is important that there is the opportunity for a Restorative Justice activity to take place at the right time for all the participants involved.

Restorative Justice should not disrupt Criminal Justice System processes or timeliness targets.

Which cases are suitable?

No offence is excluded.

There must be an identifiable victim, an identified harmer or charged offender, and an admission of responsibility or a guilty plea/finding of guilt if the case is proceeding through the courts system.

Restorative Justice should be victim-focused, so that it is their choice whether or not to participate, but the offender also has to agree.

The service is free of charge, completely confidential and impartial. If a victim or offender is being supported by a CJS agency or partner we will update that organisation about the outcomes of Restorative Justice activities.

Will it impact on any sentence?

That is for the sentencer alone to decide. It is not the purpose of Restorative Justice to influence sentencing decisions. That is made clear to both victim and offender at the start.

How do I find out more or make a referral?

The service accepts referrals for all crimes.

The service takes referrals from the police, victims, victims’ services organisations, offender management agencies and any other organisation that is working with victims or offenders.

Any Restorative Justice outcome will be determined in line with both the victim’s and offender’s wishes.

The Restorative Justice procedure will not prejudice the victim, offender or the criminal justice process.

Contact details for referrals

You can refer to Restorative Justice Service for Kent & Medway by contacting the following:

Tel: 0800 783 1583
Email: rjkent@restorativesolutions.org.uk.cjsm.net

Click here to download the External Agency Referral Form

Referral criteria

  • Offenders 18 and over (young offenders will come under the YOT)
  • Victims of any age
  • Any offence type (please note that Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence or Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse cases must be victim led)
  • A connection to the Kent & Medway area by either Victim address, offender address or offence location
  • No time restrictions (the case can be recent or decades old)
  • If a case is going through court we may wait until it has come to a conclusion

Let's help to support you

Talk to our Restorative Justice service team in confidence

Email Us

Or call us on 0800 783 1583

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 why-me.org...

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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.