What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a powerful and effective voluntary process which gives you, the victim, the chance to explain to the offender the impact that their crime has had on you. It will only happen if the victim and the offender both want to take part and a trained facilitator decides that it's safe.
Restorative justice often involves a conference, where a victim meets their offender face to face. Sometimes, when this is not the right choice for you, the victim and offender can communicate via letters, recorded interviews or video instead. It's a process which puts you in control and gives you the opportunity to seek answers from your offender.
Watching this video will help to give you an idea of what a conference is like.
How are RJ services delivered in Sussex?
Putting victims at the heart of the criminal justice system in Sussex is one of the key priorities developed in the Police and Crime Commissioner's (PCC) Police & Crime Plan.
In October 2014, PCC Katy Bourne took on the responsibility for commissioning victims' services in Sussex, with RJ an important part of this provision. She believes strongly in any measure that enables victims to be heard and may help them to reach a closure that cannot be found through sentencing alone.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) made funding available nationally to Police & Crime Commissioners and charities to help deliver Restorative Justice services for victims of crime over the next three years.The PCC is committed to the MoJ's vision to increase access to RJ at every stage of the criminal justice process.
Several partners are involved in delivering RJ in Sussex through the Sussex Restorative Justice Partnership (SRJP). The partners are drawn from a diverse range of people, including practitioners, criminal justice agencies, community representatives and the voluntary and community sector - all led by a Strategic RJ Manager from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.
In this way, the Partnership brings together all the agencies and authorities with an interest in Restorative Justice. All of this is delivered under the umbrella of the Sussex Criminal Justice Board. Practically, the services are delivered through three regional hubs: East Sussex, based in Bexhill; Brighton & Hove, and West Sussex, based in Bognor.
How can I find out more about RJ?
We've put together this handy FAQ which we hope will answer most of your questions, but if there's anything else you'd like to ask you can contact your local RJ hub using the contact details on the right hand side of this page.