This is when those harmed by a crime or conflict (a direct victim, or anyone who has been affected such as a victim’s family member or a witness) have contact with the person responsible for the crime or conflict to try to find a way forward. This is voluntary and both sides need to agree for the contact to take place.
Restorative Justice can be effective in showing the responsible person the real impact of their actions by putting a face to their crime. It also gives the victim and/or family the chance to tell the offender how they feel about what has happened, ask for an apology and get answers to their questions. The victim may also have the chance to help decide what activity the offender can do to repair some of the damage done. It can help those who have committed crimes or anti-social behaviour reintegrate back into society and helps to reduce reoffending.
*COVID-19 SERVICE UPDATE*
Restorative and mediation services are available despite the Coronavirus pandemic. Co-ordinators and volunteers who operate the Essex Restorative and Mediation Service are offering telephone, online and written mediation techniques.
Our priority is to continue delivering restorative services whilst ensuring this is done in the safest way possible for everyone involved. We are still open for referrals and are providing support to our service users in the most appropriate way. For the foreseeable future this will be either virtually or over the telephone. However, if people wish to speak face to face, referrals can still be made but will have to be put on hold until further notice to ensure there is no risk to all those involved.
The team can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01245 291 621 during office hours.
86% people who used the service said that they felt better after speaking with facilitators.
Research has suggested that restorative justice conferencing can reduce reoffending by 14%.
96% of people who used our service rated it 4 out of 5 stars or higher.