Restorative Justice Service

 

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Restorative Justice Service

What is Restorative Justice?

The Restorative Justice Service in West Berkshire is managed by the Volunteer Centre using professionally trained volunteer facilitators.

Restorative Justice brings together those who have been harmed with those responsible for that harm. After harm has been done the effect can be far wider than on you or the person directly causing the harm. Friends and family can find the situation extremely distressing and may be left to deal with the aftermath once the professionals have left.

It is a means of healing some of the hurt caused and allowing you to hold the harmer to account directly for what they did. You, together with perhaps your family and friends, can tell them clearly and directly how what they did affected you and your life. You can ask them how they intend to make amends.

It may also be used to rebalance relationships between neighbours where both may have caused upset.

When is Restorative Justice an option?

It may be used and helpful for neighbour disputes, bullying, anti-social behaviour and low level crimes. One or both parties must live in West Berkshire.

What happens if I agree to Restorative Justice?

You will meet, on your own or with someone you trust, two Restorative Justice Facilitators. Their job is to hear your story, find out how it made you feel and check whether anyone else was affected. Only then do you need to decide whether you are willing or able to meet with the other party.

The meeting is carefully managed by same two facilitators. It is held in a neutral venue where all those affected by a particular offence/incident come together to talk about what happened, who was affected and what can be done to make things better. No-one will be judged; it is a way for harmed people and wrongdoers to come together to find positive resolutions.

How does it work?

Referrals may come from a variety of organisations such as the police, the Youth Offending Team, schools, and housing associations. Individuals can also refer themselves.

Why would I want to attend?

The meeting gives people affected by the actions of someone else the opportunity to have a greater voice by asking those responsible any questions they may have. You can explain how the behaviour has affected your life and give the person responsible a greater understanding of the harm they have caused. The person causing the harm gets an opportunity to respond to anything you may say or ask. The meeting will then seek an agreement as to what can be done to make things better so that everyone involved can move on positively with their lives.

What happens afterwards?

The agreement reached at the meeting will be recorded and a copy given to the parties involved. After the meeting the Service Coordinator will check that the agreement is carried out. For example, this may be an apology or it may be work to repair the harm.

Information and Volunteering

For more information or if you are interested in volunteering for this service please contact: the Volunteer Centre in the first instance and ask for the Service Coordinator on 01635 49004, or email nrjp@vcwb.org.uk.

 

This service is independently managed by the Volunteer Centre West Berkshire.