Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Promoting restorative justice

with one comment

The concept of restorative justice has been around for sometime.

The idea is fairly straightforward. In the criminal justice context, restorative processes give victims the chance to tell offenders the real impact of their crime, to get answers to their questions about why they became vicitms of a crime, and an apology. Restorative justice holds offenders to account for what they have done, helps them  understand the real impact of what they’ve done, to take responsibility and make amends.

Restorative processes are also increasingly being used in schools, care homes and the wider community to address conflict, build understanding and strengthen relationships with young people. In these contexts it is also known by the names ‘restorative approaches’ and ‘restorative practices’.

Research from the Ministry of Justice suggests that restorative justice can help victims come to terms with what has happened to them and can reduce the rate of reoffending by offenders.

In November 2012, the Government published an action plan for restorative justice in the criminal justice system. It has also tabled amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill currently being discussed in Parliament, which will enable judges to defer sentencing a person convicted of a crime until after a restorative justice.

As a consequence of this measure,  restorative justice will then be accessible at every stage of the criminal justice process, from initial arrest through to prison, for those victims and offenders who are willing.

Research also showed that the use of restorative justice was very patchy. It is the clear intention of the Action Plan that its use should become more widespread through the criminal justice system.

To read the Action Plan, go to

The use of restorative justice processes is promoted by a private charity, the Restorative Justice Council. For details of their work go to


Written by lwtmp

November 21, 2012 at 10:07 am

Posted in Chapter 5

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on gerrysmum and commented:
    I have a growing interest in restorative justice since I first heard about it on Twitter. Now I am studying criminal justice studies so have a great excuse to look into RJ further.


    November 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

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