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What is 'Restorative Justice' for victims of crime and how can I find out about it?

If the offender is an adult, you are entitled to receive information on Restorative Justice from the police, including how you could take part. This is dependent on the provision of Restorative Justice in your local area.

Restorative Justice is the process of bringing together victims with those responsible for the harm, to find a positive way forward. Restorative Justice offers you an opportunity to be heard and sometimes to have a say in the resolution of offences. This can include agreeing activities for the offender to do as part of taking responsibility for their actions to repair the harm that they have done.

Restorative Justice can provide a means of closure and enable you to move on, while providing an opportunity for offenders to face the consequences of their actions and to understand the very real impact that it has had upon others. Appropriate measures will be put in place to make sure that anything you agree to take part in is safe. If the offender has admitted guilt and is willing to participate in a meeting or communicate with you, you may be able to explain to the offender how the incident has affected you. You may then decide to seek an apology, or agree an activity that the offender has to undertake as part of making good the harm that has been done.

You should not be pressured into participating in the Restorative Justice process at any time. You and the community (where appropriate) should be consulted about the types of restorative activities the offender may undertake.

Restorative Justice is voluntary – you do not have to take part, and both you and the offender must agree to it before it can happen. You can request to participate in Restorative Justice at a time that is right for you. However, even if both parties want to take part, it might not be appropriate in every case.

Restorative Justice can take place whilst criminal proceedings are ongoing or after the conclusion of criminal proceedings as part of a sentence and it can be used as an out of court disposal. Where available, this will be led by a trained Restorative Justice facilitator who will take your needs into consideration and deliver services in line with recognised quality standards.

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