Restorative Justice

  • Created by: niamhkm08
  • Created on: 02-03-21 12:41

What is Restorative Justice?

  • Restorative Justice (RJ) aims to redress this balance, crime is seen as being against a person or organisation and victims can be part of what happens. 
  • RJ must be voluntary for all parties and seeks a postive outcome. 
  • It is respectful and not degrading for either the offender or the victim.
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Aims of Restorative Justice

  • RJ aims to provide vicitms with:
    • An opportunity to explain the impact of the crime (impact statements).
    • An acknowldgement of the harm caused.
    • A chance to ask questions.
    • Some control and choice.
    • Peace of mind about the future.
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Process of Restorative Justice

  •  A supervised meeting between the 2 parties (offender and victim) is organised.
  • A trained mediator attends the meeting.
  • The victim is given the oppourtinity to confront the offender and explain how the incident affected them.
  • Similarly, the offender can see the consequences of their actions, including the emotional distress caused.
  • This is an important part in the rehabilitation process.
  • In some cases, not all RJ programmes can involve face-to-face encounters between the offender and the victim.
  • Occasionally, the offender may make some financial restitution to the victim which may reflect the psychological or physical damage done. 
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Evaluation of Restorative Justice

  • A government funded research project conducted by SHAPLAND et al. (2007) concluded that every £1 spent on RJ would save the criminal justice system £8 through reduced reoffending (recidivism). 
  • However, it can still be expensive in terms of the number of sessions required, and the input of a skilled and experienced mediator would be required.
  • There is danger of offenders signing up to the programme just to gain a reduced sentence.
  • It is difficult to tell whether offenders show remorse.
  • Additionally, the offenders may have an ulterior motive in that they may want to seek revenge themselves whe faced with the victim.
  • However, it has been praised because it does reduce re-offending rates. Unlike custodial sentencing, there is a degree of flexibility in the way in which programmes can be administered, and it can be used in a variety of locations (including schools).
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Aims of Restorative Justice - BENEFITS


  • Enable them to put the crime behind them, for example, why they were targeted. It acts as closure.
  • Gived victims a greater voice in the Criminal Justice System.
  • Empowerment in terms of a sense of personal power.
  • Develop and understanding of why the crime was committed. 


  • Opportinity to address and heal the underlying issues and the oppourtunity to change.
  • Opportunity to apologise and accept responsibility.
  • Opportunity to repair the harm done as a result of the crime.
  • Develop an understanding of the effects of their actions.
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Aims of Restorative Justice - BENEFITS


  • Shows the community that offenders are making up for their actions, so gives a sense of retribution.
  • RJ reduces the frequency of reoffending, so community is safer.
  • Saves money - £8 in savings to the criminal justice system for every £1 spent on RJ.
  • Opportunity to (re)build a sense of community and mutual accountability. 
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