Restorative Justice simply means repairing the harm caused by crime.
It helps to make good the harm caused to all concerned.
It seeks to involve victim and offender - can include families, communities and friends.
It helps victims understand why the crime happened and helps reduce the fear of crime.
It helps offenders to take greater responsibility for their actions.
It helps to reduce offending.
Restorative Justice includes:
Direct Reparation - may involve the young offender in writing a letter of explanation or to repair or pay for the damage they caused. Indirect Reparation - is where the victim does not want direct reparation and may involve some activity or work carried out for the benefit of the community.
Victim offender mediation - may involve the offender meeting the victim to explain their action and apologise. It helps the victim explain the problems it caused and reduce fears of it happening again.
All restorative justice activities are supervised by trained staff.
What does restorative justice offer?
Victims of crime often need to understand if and why they were targeted. The opportunity of meeting with and talking to the offender is important and allows victims to explain how they felt about what happened and how it had affected them. An agreement about reparation or an apology from the offender helps to restore victims confidence and reduces their fear of being re-victimised.
It gives the offender chance to listen to the personal harm they have caused to ensure that they understand the consequences of their behaviour. Research shows that, as a result, they are less likely to re-offend.
Communities are also affected by crime, for example, fear of walking alone in the wake of a crime. Restorative Justice gives communities a voice and allows them to talk about the impact a crime has had on the local community.