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Restorative justice

Restorative justice is a process where a victim can meet the person who was responsible for the offence.

It is available to all victims of crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) across Avon and Somerset.

For many people, talking about what happened and how it made them feel helps them move on.

Evidence shows for those victims who take part, 85% come away feeling satisfied and it leads to a 27% reduction in reoffending.

I want to know…

what happens during restorative justice

If you would like to meet the person who has committed the crime or anti-social behaviour, they will be asked if they want to meet you.

If both agree you will be given the opportunity to talk about what happened in a meeting.

The meeting is held at a neutral location at a time which is convenient to you and is led by a professional facilitator. You will be able to bring along relatives, friends or other people to give you support.

what the benefits are for the victim

Restorative justice gives you a chance to talk about what happened with the offender. This might include:

  • telling them your thoughts and how they made you feel
  • asking questions
  • agreeing with the offender how they might make amends for their actions – such as explaining why they did it, writing an apology or doing voluntary work
  • being able to move on from what has happened
what the benefits are for the offender

Restorative justice helps offenders by:

  • helping them to understand how their actions affect other people
  • giving them a chance to apologise
  • allowing them to deal with any feelings of guilt and remorse
  • agreeing with you how they could make amends
when can restorative justice be used

Restorative justice can be used at any stage as the case goes through court as well as those dealt with outside court.

There are three basic requirements that must be met before communication can take place:

  1. The offender must take some responsibility for the crime
  2. Both the victim and the offender must be willing to participate
  3. It has to be safe for both the victim and the offender to be involved in the process

If a meeting is not appropriate the restorative justice professional may be able to coordinate communication by letter or other means.

how can I become involved

You can contact a Restorative Justice Coordinator:

Emails and phones are not monitored during evenings and weekends. In an emergency, call 999 and in a non-emergency call 101.

find out more about restorative justice

Watch the film ‘a victim’s guide to restorative justice’ to find out when you can access restorative justice and who to contact.

You can also find out more on:

how to give feedback about restorative justice

If you would like to provide any feedback or make a complaint about your service, email vwfeedback@avonandsomerset.police.uk

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