Saturday 30th May 2020
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Restorative justice / restorative conference

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Youth Offending Service, orange wash

Working with victims, offenders and the community, Restorative Justice helps victims understand why it happened and offenders to take greater responsibility for their actions.

What is a Restorative Conference?
A Restorative Conference is an innovative way of tackling crime, the impact of crime and antisocial behaviour. It is a meeting that is held between the person responsible for committing the crime/behaviour, the victim and members of the community who have been directly affected by the incident.

In addition, both the victim and the person responsible may have significant family or friends present who can also demonstrate the impact of the particular crime/behaviour under discussion.

The aim is not to humiliate the person responsible for the crime/behaviour, but instead to provide an opportunity for him/her to take responsibility for their actions and acknowledge the consequences. Both the victim and those affected in the community are provided the opportunity to actively contribute to the process.

Within the confines of a safe environment, all the parties involved are invited to express their feelings about the incident and discuss what might be necessary to put matters right.

What if the Victim does not wish to participate?
It is recognised that there may be occasion when a victim feels that they are unable to meet the individual responsible for the crime/behaviour face-to-face.

What if there is no identifiable victim?
On occasion there may in fact be no identifiable victim. Under these circumstances, provided the individual responsible for the crime/behaviour fulfils all the other necessary criteria, s/he may participate in a victimless conference.

The process involved in a victimless conference is entirely the same as for a full conference. Represented at this meeting will be the person responsible for the crime/behaviour, significant members of their family and affected members of the community.

What is the role of the Facilitator?
All conferences are administered by a trained facilitator. The role of the facilitator is to assess all relevant persons who may take part in the conference process as to their suitability.

The facilitator will make all necessary arrangements and notify the appropriate people as to the time and venue for the proposed conference. The choice of facilitator will rest with the victim.

What happens at a Restorative Conference?
During a conference the facilitator will guide all those persons present through a pre-defined process. Each participant will be asked a number of questions designed to highlight what actually happened, who they felt at the time and how they feel at the present.

Putting things right
Both the victim and the affected community representatives will have the opportunity to say what is required to put things right.

Any agreement reached in respect of reparation or restitution will be entirely voluntary and cannot be legally enforced. The fulfilment of any agreement reached will however be monitored and a record made of its completion or otherwise.

The fact that an individual has undergone the process of a Restorative Conference, victimless or otherwise, will be recorded by the Police. This may be referred to at a later date should that individual re-offend.




 Contact information

Youth offending service
Ground Floor, The Albany 4, Cardiff Road, Luton, LU1 1PP
Tel: 01582 547900 or out of hours emergency 0870 2385465

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