The DLNR CRC can offer Restorative Justice Approaches to all Offenders with an identified Victim, whereby the perpetrator accepts responsibility for their offence and is willing to make amends. This service is also offered to our National Probation Service colleagues for any of their Service Users. There are just two Restorative Justice Facilitators that can work with cases in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland- namely Louise Cassie and Ruth Wilkinson. The Service is victim led and our referrals will normally come from the Offenders themselves or through the Victim Contact Team within the NPS. We are formally trained to facilitate face to face conferences or engage in shuttle mediation whereby questions and answers are taken to and from the Victim and the Perpetrator. We also facilitate apology letter writing. Alongside this we also offer a five session group work intervention to Offenders called ‘Making Amends’ which introduces them to experiences/consequences of crime for victims and the ripple effect this can have. It also provides insight into Restorative Justice approaches and enables them to decide if they would like to pursue this for their own offences. This intervention can be delivered both in a prison setting and /or the community.
Victims of crime can experience many different feelings including feeling angry, frightened and insecure. Some people have found involvement in the process of restorative justice can help them come to terms with the effects of crime and help them move on in life. At Leicester City Council Children and Young People’s Justice Service we offer victims:
• An opportunity for their views and feelings to be voiced
• Non-judgemental support and advice
• Unbiased information about the restorative process
• Referral to other agencies that could offer more long-term specialist support
Some young people are asked to attend a community panel and victims can attend these and speak to the panel or speak with the young person responsible for the crime, this will be with support of the Victim Liaison Officer. Our Victim Liaison Officer can also visit people at home and pass their views on to the young person and the panel.
A young person who has committed a crime might also be asked to do Reparation; unpaid work which should benefit either the victim of the crime directly or their community. Reparation can include a sincere letter of explanation from the young person delivered by the Victim Liaison Officer.