What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a process which enables communication between those harmed by crime and those responsible for the harm.

image of signpost pointing to past and futureAfter a crime, those harmed may want the chance to:

  • Have questions answered about the offence (by the offender) ‘why me?’, or other questions
  • Tell the harmer how the offence has affected them and their family
  • Improve their well-being, reducing stress and anxiety

Offenders may want the chance to:

  • Understand how their behaviour has affected others
  • Offer an apology
  • Answer any questions about the offence

Restorative Justice offers opportunities to repair the harm caused by crime. Research reported by the Government in 2010 found that 85% of victims who took part in RJ meetings with offenders were satisfied with the process. It also concluded that RJ reduces the frequency of re-offending by 14%.

 

Calm Mediation’s Restorative Justice Service

Calm Mediation has been providing restorative justice since 2005. We achieved the Restorative Service Quality Mark in 2016, providing independent accreditation of our excellent practice.

Although we take cases originating in London, we work in a variety of settings such as prisons around the country, or in the community. We deal with cases involving a wide range of crimes, for example: assault, burglary, criminal damage, death by dangerous driving, grievous bodily harm, manslaughter, murder, robbery and theft.

RJ can be applied to compliment any stage of criminal proceedings from out of court disposal right through to post sentence.
Participation requires voluntary consent from both the victim and the offender. Confidentiality is key and information is not shared without consent, this allows you to trust in the process and enable all parties involved to move forward. Refer to our Fair Processing Notice for all the details.

Our RJ Facilitators

Our service is provided by trained facilitators who give their time to the community through Calm Mediation. They have a wealth of skills and experience from backgrounds in teaching, the prison service, Victim Support, the legal sector, and youth services, for example.

How Does Restorative Justice Work?

Calm’s Restorative Justice team receives case referrals, assigns facilitators and makes all the practical arrangements. How cases proceed depends on the circumstances.

Two of our facilitators will meet with the victim and the offender, separately, to discuss the RJ process.
They listen to what has happened and how those involved have been affected. They find out what you would like to see happen, how you would like things to improve and help you prepare for the next stage.

If everyone agrees, and after a comprehensive risk assessment, a meeting (known as a restorative conference) may be arranged. If a meeting is not possible, the facilitator can make other arrangements, for those involved, to communicate.
The process can be lengthy because of the time required to gather information from different agencies.

Accessing Our Service

We accept victims and offenders of crimes from across the 32 boroughs of London with the following criteria:

  • There are two identifiable people – an offender and a harmed person
  • The offender has accepted responsibility for the crime
  • Offenders under the age of 18 will be assigned to local council Youth Offending Teams

Our service is funded by the Big Lottery Fund to work in conjunction with a range of other agencies so that we can provide a free service to those harmed by crime.

We have also recently been awarded a contract as an embedded service in the London Victim & Witness Service (LVWS) to provide Restorative Justice London wide, led by Victim Support. The LVWS is funded by the Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPAC).

To make a referral to our restorative justice service, or to discuss how we might meet your organisation’s or personal needs for RJ, please contact the Restorative Justice Team:

Alternatively if you would like us to contact you, please complete this form:

Further information and case studies about restorative justice is available from the Restorative Justice Council.