RJ brings those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. 

RJ is managed by a trained facilitator who is often a volunteer. They start by talking to all parties concerned: the victim, the offender and anyone else affected by the incident such as the wider community. The process often ends in a meeting between all these parties at which the offender undertakes some form of reparation for the harm caused.

The benefits to the victim, the offender and the public are well established:

  • It is far cheaper than prison and is more effective at reducing repeat offending, so saving us all money.
  • It is also cheaper than the traditional criminal justice system and can provide both victims and offenders with more satisfaction. 
  • Victims have fewer post-traumatic stress symptoms after taking part and less desire for violent revenge against the offender.

The Ministry of Justice stated in 2012 that it wants RJ to be embedded into the criminal justice system. But we are still very far from this, partly because it requires a change of culture on behalf of police, lawyers and judges and also because it requires the public to be more aware of the benefits so they are more likely to take part when it is offered to them.

See this page for information on how to obtain Restorative Justice within the West Midlands. 


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