Why me? made a submission to this consultation and are grateful to the Restorative Justice Council for their lead on this and we concurred with many of their points.
Our specific points in our submission related to victims access to restorative justice, in particular:
- Victims should be given the support to access restorative justice. Unless promoted to victims face to face or on the telephone, the victim’s chair will remain empty.
- Key risks relate to poor practice, for example pressurising victims to take part, or rushing the preparation due to concerns about timeliness.
- Designated Victim Liaison Officers should be treated as an integral part of the provision and reduction of reoffending. Leeds YOS are a good example of how well a restorative approach can be undertaken with victims.
- Funding for the development of restorative justice services could come from victims’ services, which would encourage the development of innovative practice around the role of victims in restorative justice.
- Restorative options should be available to the person responsible for victim liaison e.g. face-face meeting; audio-recording; letter etc.
- Investment in cross-profession coordination and communication about victims’ and offenders’ needs is essential e.g. Restorative Gloucestershire