Victims and Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice (RJ) provides opportunities for those directly affected by an offence (victim, offender, and members of the community) to communicate through a restorative process and agree how to deal with the offence and its consequences.
The basic principles include:
- Putting things right and healing relationships, thereby giving high satisfaction to victims and reducing re-offending
- Ensuring that those directly affected by crime are involved in the process and that their wishes are given careful consideration
- Achieving positive outcomes for the victim, community and young person
All victims of youth crime should be asked by the police whether they consent to the YJS contacting them in order to offer them the chance to participate in a restorative process. If this did not happen, contact the police officer dealing with the offence and ask them to pass on your details to the YJS.
Although restorative processes can result in practical reparation, the communication between victim and offender can also produce powerful emotional responses leading to mutual satisfaction and the re-integration of the young person into the community.
Sheffield YJS has dedicated victim workers seconded from Remedi who contact victims of crime to offer them the opportunity to participate in a restorative process or even just to keep them informed as to the young person’s progress.
Reparation is the act or process of making amends. It is designed to help young people to understand the consequences of offending and take responsibility for their behaviour. Making amends for the harm caused by the offence can take place either directly or indirectly to the victim of the offence, or if the victim does not want to be involved, to the local community. Examples could include victim/offender mediation, cleaning off graffiti, or assisting in an Elderly Persons’ Unit. Young people complete reparation as part of their Court Order or an out-of-court disposal.