Registered Charity No. 1164578
“Whoever the victim, and whatever the crime, we will always put them first and give the best possible support, care and advice”

Restorative Justice for Young People

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

Direct

Where a face to face meeting would be held between the victim and offender.  A  specially trained member of Victims First Northumbria will make all the arrangements for this meeting, which will normally be held somewhere like a community centre, or at our offices and we would be present on the day, making sure everything runs smoothly. You can often take someone into the meeting with you such as a family member or support worker if you feel you need some extra support.

Indirect

This may be in the form of a letter of apology passed to the victim from the offender via a Victims First Northumbria co-ordinator  who will read the letter to you and speak to you about any questions you might have about it. In some cases these questions can be taken back to the offender to get their answers.

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.

Gives you a sense of closure to the situation and helps you to move on.

It allows you to ask questions and get answers

It allows you to tell your story and be heard

It can reduce fear, anxiety and stress, and improve your confidence

FAQ

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 :

Yourself

Someone to support you, for example a family member

The offender

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.