Restorative Justice can seem daunting so we have put together some questions and answers that we often get asked about it.

If you have a question that isn't answered below, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our team and one of our staff members will be happy to talk to you about what's involved. You don't have to commit to anything so please feel free to ring us and discuss your situation on 0800 043 8785 and we will be happy to help.

Are certain crimes off limits for Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice can be used for any crime where there is an identifiable victim and offender, as long as both parties agree to take part. Victim led Restorative Justice is available for all offences, however we cannot accept offender-led referrals for domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Does Restorative Justice affect the sentence the offender gets?

If a case goes to court then sentencing is always up to the Judge who is regulated by sentencing guidelines. Restorative Justice has no impact on sentencing decisions as the judge is the only person who can decide on the appropriate sentence for the crime that the offender has committed.

A parole board may be advised that an offender has participated in a restorative process however, the restorative work will be a very small part of the dossier provided for a parole board to consider when making their decisions.

Does Restorative Justice have to happen face-to-face?

Restorative Justice can be done both directly and indirectly. Direct Restorative Justice involves a face-to-face conference. If a victim or offender would prefer not to, or are unable to meet face-to-face, Indirect Restorative Justice can be facilitated through phone calls, video calls, letter writing, emails, or passing on messages through a third party.

Does Restorative Justice involve forgiveness?

Restorative Justice can sometimes involve forgiveness, but it doesn’t have to and it’s not expected to. 

For some victims and survivors who engage in Restorative Justice, it is important to them that the offender takes full responsibility and is remorseful. However, there are some victims who engage in Restorative Justice because they just want an opportunity to tell the offender how the crime impacted them, and for the offender to think about the consequences of their actions.

How do Restorative Justice referrals work?

Both victims and offenders can self refer if they are interested in pursuing Restorative Justice. Victim referrals can also come from Victim Support or Victim Liaison Officers, support agencies and GPs. Offender referrals can come from police, probation, or prison officers. 

Is Restorative Justice safe?

All Restorative processes are trauma informed and facilitated by trained professionals, known as Restorative Justice Practitioners who work with both parties in every step of the process to prepare and manage safety for everyone.

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for offenders?

Restorative Justice helps offenders to see the impact of their actions.

It allows offenders the opportunity to apologise and explain.

It gives them the opportunity to make amends where possible.

It helps the offender put the crime behind them.

It reduces reoffending rates by 14%.

What are the benefits of Restorative Justice for victims of crime?

Restorative Justice can reduce victim’s symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD after a crime takes place.

It empowers victims and gives them a chance to have their voice heard, taking back control.

It allows them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have about the crime, e.g ‘why me?’, ‘did you target me specifically?’.

It helps the victim put the crime behind them.

Let’s see how Restorative Justice can help you

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Or call us on 0800 043 8785

Case Studies

A Burglary In Southampton

"When the police told me about Restorative Justice, I was interested straight away and they referred me to the Restorative Justice service.

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A Residential Burglary on the Isle of Wight

Three offenders entered a residential property on the Isle of Wight on numerous occasions during the evening and early morning, searched rooms, and stole property.

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Assault Resulting in ABH

A male had intervened to prevent a domestic assault, and had himself been badly assaulted by the offender, causing ABH injuries.

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Conspiracy to Burgle

This case was referred to our service via the Officer In Charge as the harmer had contacted him wishing to try to apologise to the harmed.

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Indirect Restorative Justice Following Sexual Assault

A victim’s father-in-law sexually assaulted her during a family event.

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Injury By Dangerous Driving

The offender, Sam*, had committed the offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

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Neighbours' Dispute

A neighbours’ dispute had been occurring between John*, who owned a house adjoining a public right of way, and Frank*, who was the son of the owner of a plot of land opposite John’s house, for many years.

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Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse

The offences against Joshua were of a sexual nature and were committed in the 1980s, when Joshua was aged between 10 and 15 years old.

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Residential Burglaries in Hampshire

Watch this video about how Restorative Justice brought peace to a burglary victim.

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Restorative Conversation Following Theft

A restorative conversation took place with a victim following the theft of her pushchair, which was locked with a chain in the hallway of flats.

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Road Rage Assault

The victim had been tailgated by the harmer, who then assaulted him after indicating for the victim to pull into a lay-by.

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Rosalyn's Story

Rosalyn shares her experience of Restorative Justice.

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Theft From An Elderly Couple

An older couple were being looked after by their cousin, who stole over £7,000 from them.

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Threat of Assault

An offender threatened a victim with a baseball bat outside his home.

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Transphobic Comments

A victim received messages via Snapchat that were transphobic in nature and caused distress.

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What People Say About Restorative Justice

The facilitators have been wonderful. I feel stronger than I did. I would really recommend Restorative Justice.

Debbie, victim

I hope that she would understand that I know what I’ve done was wrong and I’ve learnt from my actions.

Ryan, offender

I had my opportunity to discuss the incident and also to meet the offender in person.

Leighton, victim