Restorative Justice or RJ as it is sometimes called is a term used for opening up communication between someone who has been a victim of crime and the person who committed the crime, with agreement by both parties.
This can allow the victim of the crime to ask any questions they may want to and also to explain to the offender how their actions have made them feel. It can also help the offender understand right and wrong, realise the impact their actions have had and encourage them to take responsibility for these actions
There are two main forms of Restorative Justice
If Restorative Justice is something that you might feel would benefit you then you can contact one of our trained members of staff to find out more, or we could arrange a face to face meeting with you to explain it further and discuss all the options that are available to you.
Are there any risks?
We will always run thorough checks on the offender and ensure they are remorseful for their actions and pose no risks to anyone involved in any meetings.
Is an RJ intervention held instead of prison?
It is not an alternative to the normal punishment routes of prison or similar, but an option considered after the usual criminal justice routes have been followed.
What will happen in the meeting?
A Victims First Northumbria staff member will ask questions and give each person a turn to speak and tell their experience of the situation. Usually at the meeting will be :
Someone to support you, for example a family member
Someone supporting them
Usually two Victims First Northumbria co-ordinators to make sure the meeting runs smoothly and to make sure it achieves a positive outcome.
What will my letter say?
Will be read by a Victims First Northumbria staff member first and may include an apology, or an explanation why the offender behaved in that way and how they will change this in the future. They will be encouraged to write this themselves so is often handwritten.