Restorative Justice (RJ)
How does RJ help victims of crime?
Restorative justice can be a chance for you to:
- Describe how you've been affected by a crime
- Get answers to questions - for example, people often want to ask "why me?"
- And move on with life
You might also be able to agree on something the offender can do to make amends.
Victims of crime can often build up a picture of the perpetrator and it can be reassuring to meet the actual offender. The Criminal Justice System can also leave many victims frustrated by unanswered questions or misunderstandings about what they could have done.
Restorative justice gives you the opportunity to tell the offender exactly how you have been affected by the crime.
What does an RJ conference look like?
The Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership has made this video showing one particular Restorative Justice conference. This meeting took place after the offender had pleaded guilty to burglary and had served his sentence. It was made with the full consent of both victims, Zoe and Andrew, and Ollie, the offender.
What if I'm uncertain about taking part in RJ?
The Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership recognises that often people don't want to meet their offender face to face. Any communication is always done with the consent of the victims, and at a pace the victims are happy with, and with complete consultation at every stage. Restorative justice gives you the opportunity to tell offenders the real impact of their crime and get answers to questions. It holds offenders to account for what they have done and even gives them an opportunity to make amends.
The restorative justice process is led by a qualified facilitator who supports and prepares the people taking part and makes sure that it is safe. They will be able to talk you through the process, answer any questions that you may have and explain what will happen every step of the way. We have over 40 facilitators in Sussex, all supported and trained to a high standard. They will look into the real motivation of why people want to participate, and only if it's safe will they bring people into contact with each other.
Why would an offender want to be involved in RJ?
Restorative Justice (RJ) can be a chance for an offender to understand the real impact of their behaviour and also to put a human face to their crime.
A RJ process gives the offender an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and make amends to the victim - or anyone else who might have been affected.