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Restorative Justice Notes

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A more recent version of these Restorative Justice notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.

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OVERVIEW NOTE: as an alternative? Pre-sentencing? Part of rehab? S&S type? Police?
What is Restorative Justice?Bringing victims and offenders "into communication" to repair the harm and find a "positive way forward" (definition by Restorative Justice Council) Informal resolutions by police, formal RJ conferences (face-to-face facilitated meetings) o Less research on the effectiveness of informal resolutions o Might be applied inconsistently

Use of RJ-Police forces o RJ approaches (especially informal resolutions) increased from 0.5% to 12% of case disposals between 2008 and 2011 o BUT large variations in how these were implemented (including training available) o ISSUE: not subject to external security
? 14 out of 16 cases were inappropriate (V didn't consent or not a criminal offence)
? Parties not always properly advised on status of informal resolution
? Police officers should focus on visible policing and responding to calls, restorative conferences should be organised by volunteers?
RJ Conferences o Best chance of success when well-organised and simple to follow o For offenders in custody, release on temporary licence (ROTL) might be required for RJ conferences to be held outside prison Used by YOTs, but less so by probations and prisons since no clear NOMS guidance

BenefitsVictims: high levels of satisfaction Offenders: reflecting on offending Public: more support for use with young offenders, possibility of informal resolutions helping to reduce bureaucracy and delay

STATUTORY FRAMEWORK LASPOA 2012 S79: Referral OrdersReferral to Youth Offender Panel o Offender and YOP will come up with a programme to address offending behaviour o Can include requirements relating to reparation and restorative justice o In the event of non-compliance or refusal to agree to a contract, offender will be referred back to Court

CRIME AND COURTS ACT 2013 Sch 16 Para 5: Deferred sentences to allow Restorative JusticeAdds s1ZA to PCC(S)A 2000 Court can defer sentence for 6 months and impose RJ requirement o Requires consent of offender and victim(s) o "aims to maximise the offender's awareness of the impact of the offending concerned on the victims" and "gives an opportunity to a victim or victims to talk about, or by other means express experience of, the offending and its impact"

OFFENDER REHABILITATION ACT (2014) S15: introduce availability of a "rehabilitation activity requirement" as part of a community order or suspended sentence orderCan be required to participate in specified activities or go to a specified place o

E.g. activities forming an accredited programme or activities whose purpose is reparative


Explicitly includes "restorative justice activities"

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