Restorative Justice is …
• Any effort to allow the parties with a stake in a particular offence to come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future.
• Offenders have the opportunity to acknowledge the impact of what they have done and to make reparation, and victims have the opportunity to have their harm or loss acknowledged and amends made
A range of activities which seek to achieve the repair of harm and enable the offender to acknowledge the harm caused including restorative justice conferences, contact, indirect contact, shuttle process, the exchange of written correspondence, direct reparation and indirect reparation.
A meeting of a group of people affected by a criminal incident including the families and friends of both victims and offenders, convened by a trained facilitator. The conference provides a forum in which those affected by the incident can express all perspectives on: –
- the nature and severity of the harm the crime has caused
- the best option for the offenders to repair that harm
- the best way to prevent any repeat offences by the offender
There are three stages of a Restorative Justice Conference:
- Stage 1 involves finding out what happened. At this stage the offender describes the incident and the victim has the opportunity to find out the facts surrounding the incident and get answers to some basic questions such as “ why me?”
- Stage 2 involves finding out how everyone was affected by the incident. At this stage it is the victim’s opportunity to express the real depth of hurt caused by the crime and where the supporters, from both sides, discuss the secondary effects of the incident.
- Stage 3 focuses on how to make things better and then agreeing on actions that will repair the harm and prevent future harm.