In this section
- What is Restorative Justice?
- Why would I access Restorative Justice?
- If I decide to access Restorative Justice what will happen next?
- What has other people’s experience of restorative justice been in Lincolnshire?
- When is the right time for Restorative Justice?
- If I feel ready how do I find out more?
- More help and support
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice is a victim-centred process which supports a victim to communicate safely with the person who has caused them harm.
Restorative justice helps victims to deal with the questions, the emotions and the stress caused by that harm and the person who has caused it. This enables victims to move on with their lives.
‘Communicate safely’ can mean face-to-face, by letter or through questions asked via a facilitator. All our restorative justice processes are managed and supported by independent trained facilitators.
Why would I access Restorative Justice?
If you have been the victim of a crime it is likely that it has been a distressing and unsettling time for you. The harm caused is not only immediate but can also have long term affects. These could be effects on relationships, employment, your family and friends or it could have affected your confidence or your ability to carry out your everyday tasks.
This process gives you the chance to have your say. You will be able to explain to the person who has caused you harm the impact it has had on you, and those close to you. It will enable you to seek a direct explanation from that person about what they did and why they did it.
For many people who have been traumatised by harm restorative justice helps them to obtain closure. People who have participated in restorative justice have reported that it has been an empowering experience that allowed them to feel more in control of what happened to them.
Please be aware that the whole restorative justice process is very carefully managed and risk assessed. The well-being of all involved is paramount and if there is potential of further harm identified at any stage the process does not continue.
Research shows that 85% of people who participate in restorative justice are pleased that they did.
If I decide to access Restorative Justice what will happen next?
A trained facilitator will contact you in the first instance to talk through what has happened and the impact this is having or has had on your life.
If following this, you feel you might like the opportunity to meet the person who has caused you harm your facilitator can arrange this. If the person who has caused the harm admits his or her guilt and is willing to participate a meeting (sometimes called a conference) can be arranged.
Following this initial discussion and your desire to pursue a restorative justice process the facilitator will then speak with the person who has caused the harm to determine his or her willingness to participate.
If you, the person who has caused you harm and your facilitator agree that a meeting is appropriate then it will go ahead. If another type of restorative justice process, such as a letter, is considered more suitable then your facilitator will discuss this with you.
Both you and the offender are welcome to bring a family member, or friend along with you for support throughout the process.
The meeting will be guided by your facilitator. It will be held in a safe place and usually lasts around and hour and thirty minutes.
During the meeting everyone will have the opportunity to speak – the ultimate aim being to help you overcome the harm caused as a result of the harmer’s behaviour.
What has other people’s experience of restorative justice been in Lincolnshire?
“Without the Restorative Justice System, this negative would never have become a positive and I believe it is vital people understand how important this system is and how it can help people move forward and give them peace of mind”.
“I am much happier and a neighbour has remarked that it was the first time she had seen me smile in a long time”.
“If possible I would hope this service would be available to all victims and their families. I got a lot more out of this than I ever thought I would have and I am glad I was able to do this”.
“If I could recommend this process to anyone I would. I got so much from meeting him (the offender) and being able to tell him face to face how it has affected me and what I’ve been through. You may not get all the answers you want, but I felt the answers I got helped me immensely”.
“Following the conference I feel more comfortable and more confident”.
“The conference allowed me to see their faces and ask them questions”.
When is the right time for Restorative Justice?
Restorative justice is available when you are ready. It is entirely voluntary and you can pull out of the process at any time if you have second thoughts.
It does not replace or impact on the criminal justice process; it can run alongside the criminal justice process or after the criminal justice process has been completed.
You can access the service at any time and is available for most types of crime. For example the person who has caused you harm does not have to have been sent to prison, or they may still be in prison or it might be that they have been released and you would like to access the service now.
If I feel ready how do I find out more?
For more information you can contact us directly by telephone or email.
Call Suzanne (01522 947084 or 07949579994) or Jill (01522 927426 or 07759500172)
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
More help and support
Restorative Justice Council
Related Website Pages
Related Documents & Further Reading
20 Feb 19 2:03 PM