Restorative justice must be available for all victims of crime

01/09/2016

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne welcomes the Justice Committee’s Restorative Justice (RJ) report which states that high quality, RJ services should be available to victims at all stages of the criminal justice system.

“If delivered in the right way, restorative justice can have a significant effect on improving victim confidence in the criminal justice system and reducing reoffending.

In Sussex, victims that have been through an RJ process have experienced a 100% satisfaction rate and a Home Office control study showed health benefits to victim participants including reducing post-traumatic stress disorder. Victims of crime have told me that the opportunity to meet with their offender is incredibly therapeutic as the criminal justice system is focussed on punishment and they often felt forgotten in the process.

“I welcome further discussion and consultation with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and my PCC colleagues, particularly regarding sharing best practice. I am also pleased that the Justice Select Committee report recommends that the MoJ consults PCCs to ensure there is sufficient capacity to feasibly introduce an entitlement to RJ under the Victims’ Code as many PCCs have demonstrated they have the capability to ensure victims have access to RJ services of the highest standard.

“RJ is working in Sussex because the 26 organisations which make up the Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership (SRJP) can all see the benefit of this approach and are committed to making it work for nearly all victims of crime. They consult with each other and share best practise via our three RJ hubs located at Bexhill, Brighton and Bognor Regis police stations. Victim Support play a vital role by providing information to every victim of crime as part of their initial needs assessment and there is an excellent relationship with colleagues in prisons, probation and the police.

“If you want to access RJ services in Sussex then visit http://www.safespacesussex.org.uk/RJ. You can also view a video called “Repairing the Harm” that tells the story of Zoe and Andrew who meet the young man who burgled them in their home whilst they and their two children were asleep in their beds.”

Click here to view the Home Office Justice Select Committee’s Restorative Justice Report.”

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