Restorative justice is a scheme which helps bring together people harmed by crime or conflict with those responsible for the harm caused, to find a positive way forward.
To support International Restorative Justice Week, which runs from 16 to 23 November, the Ministry of Justice is running a campaign to raise awareness of the scheme and the benefits to victims. “I’ve got something to say” is the theme of the campaign, which shows how restorative justice can empower victims of crime by giving them a voice and help them move forward with their lives.
Giving victims a voice
Allowing victims of crime to explain to the offender how the crime made them feel, either through a face-to-face meeting or indirectly through a mediator or a letter, empowers them by giving them a voice. Participating in a restorative justice scheme gives victims the opportunity to get answers to their questions about the offence and why the offender committed the crime, and to receive an apology from the offender which can provide a means of closure, enabling them to move forward and recover from the crime.
Restorative justice also provides an opportunity for offenders to face the consequences of their actions, recognise the impact that it has had upon others and where possible make amends. This can help them rehabilitate so they stop offending and motivate them to change and become responsible, law-abiding and productive members of society.
Take part in a restorative justice scheme
If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of crime, and want to participate in a restorative justice scheme, the Restorative Justice Council has a list of restorative justice providers or alternatively you can contact your local police force.