Get Restorative Justice For Your Case
Restorative Justice (RJ) gives victims an opportunity to communicate and, if desired, meet their offender; offering closure through being able to explain how the crime has affected them, ask any questions they may have and potentially receive an explanation and an apology. Restorative Justice holds offenders to account for what they have done and helps them take responsibility and make amends. West Yorkshire Police recognise that our officers can play a crucial role in ensuring that Restorative Justice is available across the Force area and that referrals are made to the appropriate agencies.
In the first instance all victims of crime should discuss Restorative Justice with the officer allocated to their case, further information is available from the local Restorative Justice Coordinator for the district, as listed below:
The contact point for RJ across the force is centralised with the Restorative Justice Service who can be contacted as follows:
West Yorkshire RJ Service: 0800 783 1550
West Yorkshire Mailbox: [email protected]
West Yorkshire Mail box (Secure): [email protected]
As a victim, you are entitled to information about Restorative Justice and all victims of crime are encouraged to speak to the officer dealing with their case and discuss whether Restorative Justice might be suitable for them. There follows a brief explanation of what Restorative Justice is, when it is most suitable and how you, as a victim, may benefit from requesting it.
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice is a voluntary process, it will only take place if the victim and the offender are willing; no victim will be coerced into participating and similarly it cannot be specified as a requirement for the offender unless they agree. However, having agreed, the offender may incur further sanction for failure to properly engage in the process.
How does Restorative Justice work?
The Restorative Justice process involves communication between the victim and offender, however this is not necessarily achieved in a direct, face-to-face manner at first. The preparatory stage is key and a trained Restorative Justice facilitator will risk assess each individual to determine suitability for Restorative Justice before proceeding. In some of the more serious cases this can take some time. At all stages the safety of all parties is paramount and it may be determined that Restorative Justice is NOT suitable following the risk assessment, in which case both parties will be informed of this.
Which crimes are suitable?
Restorative Justice is suitable for most victim-based crimes. For low level crimes is most likely to form part of an out-of-court disposal as a condition that the offender must comply with; Such a condition will only be included if the victim has requested it and the offender has agreed to take part. The condition will nominate the local Restorative Justice agency as facilitator and their trained staff will assume control of the case from that point.
For more serious crimes, which have been, or may be, prosecuted at court, a victim of crime may request Restorative Justice through the police officer, who will notify the relevant agency; or through their solicitor who will notify the court. In either case our role will then be to provide the relevant information in order to support the safe provision of Restorative Justice as part of a Community Sentence or in conjunction with a custodial sentence.
Why would I want Restorative Justice?
The evidence for Restorative Justice is strong. A government-funded 7 year research programme into Restorative Justice has demonstrated that it reduces the frequency of offending by14%. 80% of offenders who take part have stated that it will lessen the likelihood that they will offend again.
From a victim perspective, more than half of victims who take part in Restorative Justice conferences think the offender has received the right sentence and 85% of victims reported that they were satisfied with the process and the outcome.
More information is available on these links to the “why me” website for Restorative Justice practitioners:
Note : - Restorative Justice may sometimes also be referred to as "RJ".