How do I get restorative justice?

I’m the victim of a crime – how do I get restorative justice?

Question MarkRestorative Justice is increasingly offered to victims by a number of agencies (most usually the police), there is no legal obligation – yet – for it to be provided.

If you’ve been affected by a crime and you’d like to explore the possibility of a face to face meeting with the person who is responsible:

  • Contact your police victim liason officer (VLO) and ask them to approach those responsible for working with the offender (usually their probation officer or offender manager) to start off the process. If the crime was committed by a young person, it is more likely you will be offered a meeting through your local Youth Offending Team (YOT).
  • Contact us here at Why me? This could be a good option if the crime was a while back and you’re no longer in touch with the police who helped you at the time, or if you’ve never been allocated a VLO. We can put you in touch with someone who can help track where the offender is now and can approach them with the idea.

It’s important to note that if the person responsible for your crime has served or is serving time in prison, it is very likely that he or she will already be familiar with the concept of Restorative Justice and the possibility of meeting you. This is because there are several programmes that run in prisons which promote and explain Restorative Justice. Offenders who have been given community sentences and young people who are given Referral Orders after committing a crime are also usually aware.

If I want a meeting, can I guarantee it will take place?

Neither side is forced to participate and you can only request a meeting, so don’t be disappointed if you find that it does not take place. It may also be judged that the offender is not ready to participate, because they do not show sufficient remorse or their behaviour is such that it is inappropriate. We can help you understand the process and the reasons why a meeting can or cannot take place.