Monday, 2 February 2015

Working together to develop Restorative Justice

The benefits of a victim of crime meeting their offender to understand why they did what they did will be spelt out at conference on restorative justice next week (February 9th).

The event is being hosted by Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sir Graham Bright, as part of plans to develop the provision of restorative justice in the county.

Speakers include Ellie Acton, National Policing Lead for Restorative Justice and the Chief Executive of the Restorative Justice Council Jon Collins. There will also be an extended session from Peter Woolf, an ex-prolific offender who will share his experience of restorative justice and how it changed his life forever.

The conference will bring delegates from agencies across the Eastern Region together to understand how restorative justice can have a positive impact on victims and offenders in their communities.

Deputy Chief Constable Alec Wood will also share his vision of the future of restorative justice in Cambridgeshire through a model which builds on the existing work of colleagues in partner agencies.

The Police and Crime Commissioner has received funding from the Ministry of Justice, as part of the Victim Services Grant to develop victim-initiated restorative justice.

Sir Graham has appointed Restorative Solutions, a not for profit Community Interest Company, as a delivery partner to provide advice and guidance in moving this forward.

Restorative justice is a process which “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”.

Victims of crime who take part in restorative justice are more likely to get closure from the crime committed and offenders are less likely to offend again.

Restorative justice will be offered through a number of different models, from 1-1 conferences between the victim and offender to community conferencing, involving a number of people from a community who have been affected by a crime or anti-social behaviour.

The Constabulary and OPCC are currently recruiting for a Restorative Justice Co-ordinator to support this area of work.