Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice 2017-10-10T11:13:05+00:00

Restorative Justice (RJ) provides opportunities for victims to be heard and to have a say in the resolution of offences. It can take many forms, from a letter of apology to facilitated conferencing between the victim and offender. Potentially, RJ can transform the way in which the needs of the victim are met and can also enable offenders to face the consequences of their actions.

There is some excellent work underway in Surrey which includes a ‘restorative’ element. The Police & Crime Commissioner has used some of his victim and community safety funding to support RJ across the county:

  • Youth Restorative Intervention
    This successful partnership initiative between Surrey Police & Surrey County Council has delivered significant reductions in levels of youth offending and has saved £1.4m of tax payers’ money to date. It offers certain young offenders an alternative to formal ‘disposals’ (such as police cautions or prosecution) and brings victims and the young individuals responsible for a crime together, giving them a chance to communicate about what has happened and to find a positive way forward. Since its introduction, the scheme has delivered a 91% victim satisfaction rate and an 18% reduction in reoffending. In the interests of public transparency, the Assistant PCC, along with representatives of the magistracy, the courts and the Crown Prosecution Service, sits on a panel to scrutinise these and other cases which are settled by the police without going to court.
  • Transforming Women’s Justice Project
    This pilot initiative in West Surrey, part of a wider ‘Transforming Justice’ project in Surrey, aims to stop the ‘revolving door’ of low level re-offending by women and get the out of the criminal justice system. It offers women who admit their offences appropriate support to tackle the behaviour which has led them to offend. An element of reparation for the victims involved is part of the package. This scheme builds on the established success of Surrey’s work with young offenders and we hope it will provide a prototype for dealing with other groups of low level offenders. The PCC is co-funding this initiative with the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Reform Trust: he is also, separately, providing funding to enhance the service provided by the Women’s Centre in Woking, which is a key partner.
  • The Surrey RJ Hub
    Hosted by Surrey County Council and part funded by the PCC, the RJ hub provides a point of contact to access support and information for those who wish to proceed with a restorative process. The hub can make sure that cases are allocated to professionally trained restorative justice facilitators. For more information about the Surrey RJ Hub, visit their website.