I am writing to congratulate Warwickshire County Council on the success of its Youth Justice Service (WYJS)’s Restorative Justice programme. The service has produced a powerful video in which Restorative Justice enables a victim and his attacker to become friends after a violent assault.
The Green Party adopted the Restorative Justice approach as a key plank in its Crime and Justice Policy more than 20 years ago, because it emphasises repairing the harm caused by crime. When victims, offenders and community members meet to decide how to repair that harm, the results can be transformational.
Government funded research shows 85 per cent of victims are satisfied with Restorative Justice and there is a 27 per cent reduction in reoffending. So, Restorative Justice can help victims, save money and address chronic overcrowding in prisons.
Many cases from Restorative Justice Online bring home how powerful this approach can be. For example, an offender said that Restorative Justice “has opened my eyes to the impact of my crime on numerous people, especially those who I did not know about, those who were victims through the ripple effect”.
In our clogged up, bureaucratic system the actual harm and fear caused by crime is often buried under a deadening pile of legal paperwork. Through using Restorative Justice the Warwickshire Youth Service is getting to the heart of the issue and changing lives
Ian Davison, Green Party, South Leamington