Who benefits from Restorative Justice?

Victims often want to understand why the crime happened to them. They also want to play some part in the process of what happens to the person who committed the harm.

Victims want to know that they are not likely to be harmed by the same person again, and often they want to know that the offender will not harm anyone else in the future either.

By helping the offender to face up to the consequences of what they have done, RJ provides the offender with the chance to make a real difference to the victim, and to begin to think about changing their behaviour in the future.

RJ can help the offender to achieve a positive outcome for both the victim and themselves. It means that the offender has the chance not just to say sorry and feel sorry, but to do something about it.

Research shows that around 60% of victims offered the opportunity to participate in RJ say yes. For offenders, approached on the basis of having accepted responsibility/pleaded guilty and with a victim who wishes to participate, 75% say yes.


When can Restorative Justice take place?

RJ can be used to resolve harm and conflict caused by crime and can be used when the victim feels it would support them in their recovery.

It can take place at all stages of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), including Out-of-Court, Pre-Sentence (as part of either an adjournment between plea and sentence or as part of a deferred sentence), and Post-Sentence.

It is important that there is the opportunity for an RJ activity to take place at the right time for all the participants involved.

RJ should not disrupt CJS processes or timeliness targets.


Which cases are suitable?

No offence is excluded.

There must be an identifiable victim, an identified harmer or charged offender, and an admission of responsibility or a guilty plea/finding of guilt if the case is proceeding through the courts system.

RJ should be victim-focused, so that it is their choice whether or not to participate, but the offender also has to agree.

The service is free of charge, completely confidential and impartial. If a victim or offender is being supported by a CJS agency or partner we will update that organisation about the outcomes of RJ activities.


Will it impact on any sentence?

That is for the sentencer alone to decide. It is not the purpose of Restorative Justice to influence sentencing decisions. That is made clear to both victim and offender at the start.


How do I find out more or make a referral?

The service accepts referrals for all crimes.

The service takes referrals from the police, victims, victims’ services organisations, offender management agencies and any other organisation that is working with victims or offenders.

Any RJ outcome will be determined in line with both the victim’s and offender’s wishes.

The RJ procedure will not prejudice the victim, offender or the criminal justice process.


Click here to download our leaflet for professionals.


Click here to download our leaflet for offenders.

Contact details for referrals

You can refer to Restorative Justice Service for West Yorkshire by contacting the following:

Tel: 0800 783 1550
Email: rjwestyorkshire@restorativesolutions.org.uk.cjsm.net

Click here to download the External Agency Referral Form

Referral criteria

  • Offenders 18 and over (young offenders will come under the YOT)
  • Victims of any age
  • Any offence type (please note that Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence or Historical Sexual Abuse cases must be victim led)
  • A connection to the West Yorkshire area by either Victim address, offender address or offence location
  • No time restrictions (the case can be recent or decades old)
  • If a case is going through court we may wait until it has come to a conclusion

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...

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A Historic 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...

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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 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
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What People Say About RJ

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

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