What is restorative justice?
Restorative justice (RJ) is a voluntary process that gives a voice to people who’ve been affected by crime or anti-social behaviour. You may hear us call these people victims.
It offers them the opportunity to meet with the person who’s committed a crime or anti-social behaviour against. To explain to them how they’ve been harmed and affected by the crime. You may hear us call these people offenders.
We do this with the support of a trained staff member.
This can happen via:
- a face to face meeting in a safe environment
- the staff member themselves
When can it be used?
As long as the victims request it, RJ can be used for any matter, whether it’s criminal or not.
By law, under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, we will offer this to you.
It can be used:
- as part of police cautions
- for community resolutions
- for criminal investigations, if the offender also agrees
- after court proceedings
- to resolve anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disputes
- in schools and in colleges
- to deal with family disputes
One of our trained RJ staff will look at each case and support victims through the process.
What are the benefits for victims?
The benefits for victims include a chance to:
- ask the offender questions
- have their say on how incident has affected them
- empower them and help them recover from the incident
- get closure from the incident
What are the benefits for offenders?
The benefits for offenders include a chance to:
- accept responsibility for their actions
- understand how their actions have affected victims
Agreeing to take part in RJ does not reduce an offenders’ sentence.
Who are the trained staff members?
Trained staff members can be:
- police officers
- a staff member from one of our partner agencies
You may hear us call them restorative justice facilitators.
We train the facilitators in best practice, which they use when dealing with cases. They’re also experts at helping people have difficult conversations.
We coordinate the West Midlands Restorative Justice Hub. We do this in partnership with two companies. You can find out more about them by selecting one of the options and visiting their website:
How do I use this service?
If you’d like to use RJ as part of your case, tell the officer in charge that you’d like your case to be reviewed for services we provide.
A member of our team will contact you to tell you what happens next. Remember, as this is a voluntary process, both victims and offenders have to agree to it.
The facilitator will speak to everyone involved individually and remain impartial throughout. They will also guide and support you through the process.