MoJ pre-sentence guidance published
The Ministry of Justice has issued guidance today on the use of pre-sentence restorative justice (RJ). Provision for pre-sentence RJ was brought in by the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which allowed for courts to defer sentencing in order for restorative justice to take place where both the offender and victim were willing to participate.
The guidance states that pre-sentence restorative justice will fit in with wider RJ strategies so that RJ is available at all stages of the criminal justice system, meaning that victims can access RJ at a time that is right for them. Pre-sentence RJ is currently being trialled in ten pathfinder crown courts and three magistrates’ courts and will soon be rolled out across the country. The aims of presentence RJ are to:
- provide victims with the opportunity to take part in a RJ activity at an early stage of the criminal justice system.
- offer victims greater direct involvement in the criminal justice process, give victims a voice and increase victim satisfaction.
- reduce reoffending.
This guidance provides information on:
- identifying suitable cases
- guidance on contact with the victim and offender
- risk assessment of cases
- preparing for an RJ activity
- delivering the RJ activity
- preparing a report for the court at the sentencing hearing