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Restorative Justice

Chance for crime victims to meet offenders

Anyone who’s ever been the victim of a crime, no matter how small it is perceived to be, will know that it’s not simply the immediate effects of the crime itself that are felt.  The impact can last for days, months and years, and can affect people far beyond the immediate victims.

There is now an opportunity for people who have been the victims of crime to access a restorative justice process that would give the opportunity to come face to face, or, correspond, with the perpetrator, and to seek the closure they often need to be able to move on with their lives, by asking the questions that remain unanswered about the crime.

Restorative justice creates opportunities for people affected by crime, conflict, anti-social behaviour or the harmful actions of others to come together with the person responsible, and seek answers to their questions and explain the impact the incident had on them.

The process helps everyone move on.  It gives those who accept responsibility for the incident an insight into the impact of their behaviour, and creates opportunities to find ways in which they can make amends.

Everyone taking part will be supported throughout the process by one of the trained independent professionals located across Devon, who will meet with the parties involved to talk about what happened and the effect it had on them, and if both parties want to meet, this will be arranged; or if not an alternative found, such as a letter exchange or recorded meetings.

If a meeting is possible, a suitable and neutral venue for this to take place will be found, and the professional will guide the meeting to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have their say.  Both parties can bring a friend, family member or advocate with them, and everyone involved will be part of the planning process.

Anyone in Devon who has been a victim of a crime, and who thinks that a restorative justice process would benefit them can contact Community Solutions on 01752 304136; e-mail RJ@plymouth.gcsx.gov.uk or use Twitter @DevonRJustice.
Restorative justice is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner as part of his responsibilities for victims of crime.