If you had a chance to meet the person who committed a crime against you, what would you do? Restorative Justice Week runs from 16-23 November and the Ministry of Justice want you to ask the question of yourself.
We’re supporting the Ministry of Justice’s ‘What would you do?’ campaign as part of International Restorative Justice Week. The campaign aims to encourage people to think about whether they would meet somebody who committed a crime against them and to learn more about the process.
Restorative justice brings together victims of crime with offenders to find a positive way forward and discuss the impact of the crime. It offers victims the chance to be heard, get answers to questions and provide a sense of closure. It also forces offenders to face up to the impact of their behaviour and in this way can help to reduce reoffending.
In Avon and Somerset our vision is to give victims of crime and anti-social behaviour the chance to explain to offenders the real impact of an incident and to have the opportunity to get answers to their questions. For some it is the chance to hear an apology, for some it’s just having their voice heard. Restorative justice can be another empowering tool that victims can access in an effort to help them cope and recover from the effect of an incident.
“I support any measure that allows the voice of victims to be heard, helping them to reach closure that cannot be found in sentencing alone. I have seen for myself the positive impact that restorative justice can have and continue to work with partners and communities to make this vision a reality.” - PCC Sue Mountstevens
Both the victim and the offender must agree to the meeting and there has to be a meaningful outcome for the victim, such as an apology or reparation. Victims are supported by a trained restorative justice officer at every stage of the process.
Restorative justice isn’t suitable for all crimes, but can be used as an alternative to criminal prosecution for minor offences, or in more serious offences once the offender has been sentenced at court. The offender must have admitted the crime and have no other criminal record.
Visit www.facebook.com/whatwouldyoudo.rj to find out more.