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.

The contact point for RJ across the force is centralised with the Restorative Justice Service who can be contacted as follows:


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. 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  directly or through discussion with the Officer in the Case who can notify the relevant agency. 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.


Is RJ Safe?  

Facilitators are trained in assessing risks and making sure that the process is safe for everybody involved. They would never let a restorative justice conference go ahead if they were not confident that it could be done safely. Victims would never be left alone with the offender and the facilitator would support them every step of the way.   


What happens during the RJ process?

The RJ process is led by a facilitator who supports and prepares the people taking part and makes sure that it is safe. They will talk to both parties throughout the process, answer any questions that they may have and explain what will happen every step of the way. There will be a chance for victims to explore what will work best for them. They can drop out at any time. 


Why would I want Restorative Justice?

The evidence for Restorative Justice is strong. 

From a victim perspective, over 96% of victims accessing the service were satisfied, and many felt that Restorative Justice had helped them to cope and recover. 
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.


See also : Restorative Justice Advice for Victims


Note : - Restorative Justice may sometimes also be referred to as "RJ".

Page last reviewed August 2022