Restorative Justice campaign brings together victims of crime and offenders

Restorative Justice week kicks off in Bristol. The aim: to repair the harm done by crime and help victims get closure. 

Picture credit: jeanbaptisteparis Creative Commons licence

November 21-25 2016 saw a number of events across Bristol to raise awareness about the campaign which organised by Restorative Bristol – an umbrella organisation that includes Bristol City Council, Avon & Somerset Police and Bristol Lighthouse Victim care.

The aim of the partnership is to promote the campaign and make restorative approaches the first option for dealing with disputes.  They provide Bristol’s communities with advocates and champions who are well informed of the availability of restorative approaches.

“It is really important that people don’t see restorative justice as an alternative to a conviction –  that’s really not the case” Stephanie Todd, Lighthouse and Avon and Somerset Police.

Within the criminal justice system, restorative processes are completely voluntary and give victims the chance to communicate with their perpetrators to explain the real impact of their crime.

It aims to empower victims by giving them a voice and it also holds perpetrators to account for what they have done and helps them to take responsibility and make amends.

The scheme, launched in December 2012,  is available to all victims of crime across Avon and Somerset.

Stephanie Todd, Restorative Justice Coordinator for Bristol said: “It can work for low-level offences and it can work for more serious crimes as well”

restorative-justiceOn Tuesday 22 November representatives from Restorative Bristol held a special information stall at the Citizens Service Point at 100 Temple Street and there was an evening talk at the Watershed on Wednesday 23 November.

Guest speakers included PC Mark Brain of Avon and Somerset Police, Marian Liebmann of the Road Sharing Scheme, Dr Nikki McKenzie of UWE Bristol, Stephanie Todd of Lighthouse and Avon and Somerset Police, and Michelle Windle of The Green House.

Listen to more about Restorative Justice from Stephanie Todd:

In a recent survey by the Restorative Justice Council only 28% of people had heard of Restorative Justice. The survey showed 80% of the public believe that victims of crime should have the right to meet their offender and the figure rose to 85% when victims of crime were asked.

Interested? Follow for more info on Restorative Justice:

Restorative Justice campaign brings together victims of crime and offenders

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