Offploy is to begin working with Remedi to support our candidates to make amends for their crimes whilst searching for employment. We hope this will help our candidates become welcomed, contributing, and proactive members of society.
What is it?
Restorative Justice is not something that I find people outside of the field of criminal justice are very familiar with. Restorative Justice is an approach to justice after a crime has taken place, it is an organised means of communication between a victim and their offender. The focus of restorative justice is to repair some of the harm caused by the criminal act. It can be a chance for the offender to take responsibility and to apologise and potentially a chance for the victim to feel a sense of control and to offer forgiveness. Restorative justice very much varies depending on the circumstances though. It is a mediation process.
Who is Remedi?
For this article I linked up with Jamie a restorative Justice practitioner with Remedi. Remedi are an organisation in the UK who are facilitating restorative justice practices. They were established in 1996 but now have 14 locations across the UK. Jamie explained to me what the mission of Remedi is.
“Remedi want to work WITH people to enable them to be the people they can and want to be”.
Remedi offer a range of different services such as Youth Justice Services, Adult Restorative Justice, Victim Services, Mentoring Services, Family Support and Young Person Domestic Abuse Services. Jamie as an RJ practitioner was able to tell me that generally the feedback, they get is that people find the restorative justice process to be informative and empowering.
Offploy do important work in helping people with criminal convictions find employment and linking these two services will continue to enhance the experience of people with criminal convictions. Restorative justice can act as a cathartic process for offenders and can help them with re-building their lives, emotionally and physically.
What are the benefits of Restorative Justice?
Victims often feel neglected in the criminal justice process, the court proceedings are not in place to give the victim a voice or validation for their experiences. The victim impact statement is the only thing in place within the CJS to give victims a platform to speak. Restorative Justice practices can add to this and it can allow the victim to meet their offender and have a better understanding of the criminal act that took place. When I asked Jamie from Remedi about the feedback he gets from victims he explained that -
“For some victims it may support the process of closure and moving forward. Many victims I have worked with report feeling safer after they completed restorative justice and they had an overall improvement in their general wellbeing.”.
For victims it may give them a chance to see their offender in a different light, especially if they were not present during the court proceedings together.
Restorative Justice is often a process perceived to be of just benefit to the victim, but it can benefit both parties. Jamie from Remedi explained that often offenders don’t realise the full impact their crime had on the victim; the RJ process gives them an increased awareness of this. Feedback from restorative justice suggests that they feel more motivated to not offend again in the future after hearing from the victim. The process is also an opportunity for offenders to show remorse or apologise for the crime they have committed. In some instances, the offender would be able to explain why they committed the crime. This would be something a lot of victims may really hope for.