Restorative Justice Programme within the I.S.S.P. Intensive Supervision & Surveillance Programme.

In 2001 Central Mediation Services entered into a Service Level Agreement with Birmingham City Council, Youth Offending Service to provide the Restorative Justice element of the Intensive Supervision and Surveillance programme (ISSP).

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is a recognised safe and effective way for victims and their offenders to make contact through a Restorative Justice Worker. This contact may take various forms, from the giving and receiving of information, to an actual "Face to Face" meeting.

How Can Restorative Justice Help Victims of Crime?

Being a victim of crime can be a traumatic experience; feelings of violation, anger, numbness and a sense of bereavement are all normal. Not all victims react in the same way, everyone is an individual.

Restorative Justice offers victims the chance to tell the person who committed the crime against them exactly how they feel. Very often there are a lot of questions that victims need answers to. Common questions are Why Me? What did you do with my property? Do you realise how I've been affected by this crime?

Restorative Justice can and does help get answers to these questions. If the victim and offender live in the same community, the victim may feel apprehensive. Restorative Justice can address this issue.

How Can Restorative Justice Help Offenders?

Some offenders do feel genuinely sorry for their crimes and need to apologise to their victims as part of their wish to make amends. Restorative Justice gives the offender the opportunity of explaining to their victim/s how and why they committed the crime.

If the offender and their victim/s live in the same area they may feel apprehensive of becoming a target for revenge or ostracism by the victim's family or the community at large.

Restorative Justice can address all of these issues and can also go some way in making our community a better place in which to live.


How Does The Restorative Justice Process Begin?

Any Offender engaged in the Intensive Supervision & Surveillance Programme (ISSP) will have the opportunity through the Restorative Justice Process, to offer information or an apology to their victim.

The Offender will need to accept full responsibility for the offence, display genuine remorse and express a desire to make amends, taking in to account the needs of the victim.

When is Restorative Justice Appropriate?

Restorative Justice may be appropriate if the victim and the offender agree to take part in the process. Restorative Justice may be appropriate if there is a clear admission of guilt on the offenders' behalf. Restorative Justice may be appropriate where there is an identifiable victim.Cases motivated either sexually or racially will be considered on their individual merits but will only be accepted if referred by the victim.

How Does Restorative Justice Work? (Offender Led)

Following an admission of guilt and an assessment, the Restorative Justice Worker will determine the level of remorse and the Restorative Justice Worker will also discuss with the offender what is expected if they engage in the process.

The Restorative Justice Worker will always make an approach to the victim via, the Youth Crime Officer.

The Restorative Justice Worker will be sensitive to the needs of the victim, and to this end, wherever possible Victim Support are involved in the case work.

If the victim declines to take part in the process then the offender is informed that no further action is to be taken.

(Victim Led)

Following an approach by the Youth Crime Officer, the Restorative Justice Worker will assess the victim's suitability, needs & motives for wishing to engage in the Restorative Justice Process before any attempt is made to inform the offender. (It is important that the - victim's expectations of the process are not unrealistic).

The Restorative Justice Process

If the victim and the offender agree to take part, further discussion will take place in order to discover whether a direct meeting (Face to Face) or indirect contact (i.e. written or verbal exchange of information) is the most suitable form of Restorative Justice.

If a face to face meeting is acceptable to both the victim & offender and the circumstances permit, arrangements will be made for a meeting in a neutral place.

If indirect Restorative Justice is more suitable then the Restorative Justice Worker will act as a go-between, passing on, with the consent of each party, any information or indeed any letters.

Having entered the process, both parties are free to withdraw at any time, should they feel the desire to do so.