Why Offender’s Participate in Restorative Justice

Posted on: 15th, June 2023

Restorative Justice is a voluntary service; both victim and offender have to agree to take part for the process to go ahead. In this blog post, we’ll explore why an offender may choose to participate, the positive impact Restorative Justice has on offenders and how it can help reduce reoffending. 

The offender’s opportunity to apologise 

Many offenders choose to take part in Restorative Justice as they want to apologise for their actions. Harry was homeless and desperate for money when he burgled Lily and Michael’s home, and wanted to apologise for the harm he had caused. A face-to-face, direct conference was held, which Harry described as being uncomfortable to begin with, but effective. He made many apologies which were accepted by the victims, and felt positive that he’d had the opportunity to say sorry. 

The chance to repair harm 

In another burglary case, the offender had stolen items of sentimental value. After talking with Restorative Justice facilitators, he admitted to feeling guilty about this, and offered to help locate some of the stolen property that he had hidden. The victim was thankful to be reunited with the items. The offender’s probation officer shared that the offender still talks about the Restorative Justice process some time after, and found that it helped his self-esteem, giving him determination to change his behaviour. Restorative Justice gave the offender the opportunity to repair some of the harm he had caused. 

Finding a positive outcome for all parties  

Charlie was seriously injured due to dangerous driving by Sam, a first time offender. Sam was extremely remorseful for his actions but hadn’t had the opportunity to express this in court. He wanted to meet with Charlie to apologise and see if there was anything he could do towards some form of reparation. The parties met for a face-to-face conference, where they discussed the impact the incident had on their lives. Both were interested in finding a positive outcome from the situation, so swapped contact details with the intention of potentially holding talks together at schools about road awareness. 

Restorative Justice helps the offender put the crime behind them 

Steve attempted to break into Joanne’s home late one evening, and was involved in a chain of events in the neighbourhood including forced entry, arson and theft of a car. He was keen to have a direct, face-to-face Restorative Justice meeting with Joanne so that he could apologise for what had happened, and explain that he was on drugs at the time but has since come off them completely. He wanted the opportunity to put the incident behind him. The meeting was extremely positive, with Steve and Joanne saying they’d gained everything they had hoped for from the meeting. It helped them both move on from the crime. 

The offender can see the impact of their crimes 

Daniel committed a street robbery on Carl, and contacted the Restorative Justice team after the police informed him that Carl has autism. Daniel wanted to apologise for his actions and make things right. Via a letter to Daniel, Carl shared the impact the crime had on his mental health, explaining that he feels extremely anxious and has struggled to sleep since the robbery. Daniel responded with an explanation and apology, saying, “I’d like you to feel more positive, I’d like you to not be upset”. Restorative Justice provided the chance for Daniel to see the full impact of his crime, as well as the opportunity to apologise. 

Get in touch 

If you think Restorative Justice could be the right option for you, please get in touch.  

Talk to our Restorative Justice service team in confidence

Email Us

Or call us on 0800 783 1550

Case Studies

A burglary case in West Yorkshire

John burgled Lucy’s home when she was outside hanging out her washing. When she came inside, she found him standing in her property. She describe...

Read More

A Domestic Argument

Ann and her son, Nicky, had been enjoying an evening in together.  As the evening progressed, an argument started, which then escalated. ...

Watch Here

A Non-Recent Child Sexual Abuse Case

A complaint of historical sexual abuse was reported to the police by two sisters who accused their stepfather of sexually touching them when they w...

Read More

A Serious Assault Case

Caroline’s world was turned upside down when Simon, her partner, was punched in the face and knocked to the ground as he walked home from a night...

Read More

A Sexual Abuse Case

The Restorative Justice service received a referral from Sarah, via her Victim Liaison Officer. The offences, which were of a sexual nature, were c...

Read More

A Street Robbery

Daniel contacted the Restorative Justice team after he committed a street robbery on Carl. “The p...

Read More

A Traffic Offence Case

Anne, 65, contacted the service, as she was interested in Restorative Justice. Her husband, Brian, 63, had been killed in a traffic collision 18 mo...

Read More

Assault on a Police Officer in West Yorkshire

Coleen was a West Yorkshire Police Officer who was called to a report of sexual assault. Upon arrival at the address, there were a lot of people, m...

Watch Here

Death By Dangerous Driving

The Restorative Justice service received an enquiry from a Victim Liaison Officer from the National Probation Service detailing that there w...

Watch Here

Death by Dangerous Driving: Tara & Oliver

Tara was referred to the Restorative Justice team in West Yorkshire. Her brother, Thomas, had been killed three years previously by Oliver, who had...

Read More

Hate Crime Awareness Course

Amiya was allocated as the Case Manager for Warren. Warren had a history of racial and religiously aggravated harassment towards a variety of peopl...

Watch Here

Lydia's Story: Sexual Assault

Lydia was referred to the Restorative Justice service by her Victim Liaison Officer. She was the victim of a prolonged sexual assault at her home 1...

Read More

Street Robbery

Ellis was a long term substance user, who was encouraged by an acquaintance – Mikel - to grab the handbag of a woman they saw in passing.  A...

Read More

Street Robbery

Jemma was referred to Restorative Solutions by Victim Services in July 2019.  She had been the victim of a robbery.  The offender – Ale...

Read More
What People Say About Restorative Justice

The restorative justice process has made me really think about the consequences of my actions.

John, offender

Restorative Justice has really helped. It has given me closure, and I feel much more positive.

Lucy, burglary victim

Now we can get on with our lives without the burden of what happened grinding us down.

Abuse victim

Our Partners