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What are Restorative Approaches?

Restorative approaches enable communication between those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm. It provides an opportunity for everyone involved in the incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward.

Restorative approaches can be utilised in various situations, for example:

  • Across all stages of the youth and adult criminal justice system;
  • In schools;
  • In the wider community between neighbours/families/groups in conflict;
  • In social care/care homes;
  • In the workplace.


In the criminal justice arena, this is described as 'Restorative Justice'. Restorative Justice provides those harmed by the offence the opportunity to explain the full impact of the offence and to ask questions directly to the person responsible. This can enable the person harmed to request an apology, an explanation and to let the person responsible know what they would like/need to help them move forward from the offence. It also provides the person who committed the offence the opportunity to take responsibility for and to explain their actions, to make amends and to apologise if this is appropriate.

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