REFORM (Restorative Engagement For Offender Recovery Management) is an exciting collaboration between Victims First Northumbria and HMP Northumberland. The partnership aims to help prisoners in HMP Northumberland to access support in custody and engage in restorative justice interventions.
The project is funded from monies earned by prisoners’ activities in custody such as laundry, gardening and waste recycling. The money has been used to employ a Coordinator to oversee the project and to also provide practical support to local residents surrounding HMP Northumberland to enhance their sense of safety and security.
The REFORM Project Coordinator is based within HMP Northumberland and receives referrals from a range of sources including Prison Officers and Staff, Police Officers, Probation/CRC and other support services including mental health and substance misuse organisations. Prisoners can also refer themselves directly within custody.
Restorative Justice in custody
REFORM will assist offenders in HMP Northumberland who demonstrates a level of remorse and willingness to accept responsibility for their actions. They will be able to explore the opportunity of entering into communication with their victim, with the aim of repairing the harm caused and finding a positive resolution moving forward. Upon receipt of referral, the REFORM Project Coordinator will meet with the prisoner to initially assess and determine suitability to engage in restorative justice interventions.
If you are a victim whose offender is in prison, it is likely that any restorative justice intervention will need to be held in custody. We appreciate this can be a daunting experience but you will be fully supported throughout the process. We can arrange for you to visit the prison prior to any intervention taking place in order for you to familiarise yourself with the surroundings.
The benefits for an offender engaging with restorative justice
- Take responsibility for their behaviour
- Understand and make amends for their actions
- Understand the impact of their crimes on the victim and others
- Give their side of the story
- Helps them forgive themselves
- Helps to avoid reoffending in future
- Helps to prevent any future victims
- Gives a sense of closure
- Helps them to move forward from what happened and build a better future
For the benefits for a victim engaging in restorative justice, please refer to the ‘Restorative Justice’ page.
Support to victims in custody
REFORM will offer support to prisoners within HMP Northumberland who identify as a victim of crime whilst in custody. We will provide a referral pathway for prisoners to refer themselves to the project to encourage communication and access to advice, support or specialist interventions for those who may need additional assistance whilst in custody. An initial assessment will be completed to determine the level of support required and referrals made where necessary.
If you know or visit someone in HMP Northumberland who you think may wish to access and engage with support, please pass on our details to them.