Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice Services offered by TAASRestorative Justice seeks to balance the concerns of the victim and the community with the need to reintegrate the offender into society. It seeks to assist the recovery of the victim and enable all parties with a stake in the justice process to participate fruitfully in it. TAAS is able to offer a fully comprehensive Restorative Justice and Reparation Service, whereby we will co-ordinate the entire service or you just the reparation side we can tailor a package to suit your needs and your budget.

We operate the service in line with YJB guidelines for best practice. The main aim of the reparation service is to help mend relationships and put things right. In the long term, hopefully this will help to reduce re-offending rates for Juveniles. In addition to this, it is essential that the reparation service offers a high level of satisfaction for victims participating in the scheme.

 

It is essential that all parties affected by the crime are involved in the reparation scheme. A consideration of the feelings and wishes of the victims is more important in these circumstances that in any other part of the criminal justice process. Obtaining a positive outcome for the victims involved is of paramount importance.

 

Contact with victims will be made sensitively by staff trained in dealing with vulnerable victims, and any meetings between the young people will only be done if both or all parties are consensual.

 

A referral for a restorative meeting, whether direct or indirect will be made to TAAS from the Youth Offending Team. It is usually the Police Officer within the YOT who assesses the suitability of young people to participate in the scheme, and then passes the information onto TAAS. However if the YOT requires that this task is also undertaken by TAAS then we will work with the YOT to put this into place.

 

Initial contact with the victim will be made in writing and an information leaflet detailing the scheme and different types of mediation available will be sent with this initial correspondence. The victim will then be contacted in no more than two weeks by telephone by the facilitator of the prospective meeting, and they will discuss the best format for the mediation, whether direct or indirect.

 

The format of the mediation will be entirely based on individual circumstances of the case and the feelings of the victims. However, a case will be deemed unsuitable for mediation unless:

  • The offender accepts responsibility for the crime
  • All parties agree to the proposed mediation

Extra care will be taken if the crime involves domestic violence, sexual offences or offences with racial elements. In some of these cases indirect mediation may be the only form possible.

 

At all times the personal information of either the victim or the offender will not be disclosed to other parties without the express permission of the individual. Records of victims will be kept separate from those of the offenders. Personal information will not be retained after the completion of the reparation process.

Restorative justice can significantly reduce re-offending rates