Victims' justice?

In November 2010, the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) and Victim Support presented the case for restorative justice to justice minister Crispin Blunt, in the Victims' justice? report.

The RJC and Victim Support highlighted how restorative justice empowers victims by putting them at the heart of society's response to crime. Victims of crime benefit from restorative justice by being given the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, getting answers to their questions as well as being more likely to receive an apology.

Based on the 27% reduction in the rate of reoffending after restorative justice demonstrated by the Ministry of Justice research, and the cost/benefit data in that same research, restorative justice would, if scaled up, lead to cashable savings to our courts and criminal justice system of £185 million.

Based on the latest crime statistics, the RJC and Victim Support showed that, if restorative justice was offered to 75,000 victims of adult offenders, assuming just a 40% take up rate, the reductions in reoffending would lead to £185 million cashable savings to criminal justice over two years.

In addition, the proposal demonstrates how making face to face conferences available before sentencing of offenders pleading guilty to burglary, robbery and violent offences would lead to reductions in reoffending of 27%. This would mean 27% less crime and 27% fewer victims.

Restorative justice has been effectively introduced in Northern Ireland where three-quarters of victims of young offenders choose to meet the young person face to face. Where victims and offenders meet victim satisfaction rates are 90% – much higher than when restorative justice is not available.

Victim Support and the RJC say that restorative justice should be available for all victims of crime who choose it in England and Wales.

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