Restorative Justice is a free service that can be used for any type of crime and at any stage of the criminal justice system, including alongside a prison sentence or as part of an alternative to prosecution.
As a victim, you will be visited by a trained Restorative Justice practitioner who will talk to you about the crime, how it has affected you and whether taking part in a face-to-face meeting with the offender would be the best way forward. This will be your decision to make, having had the process fully explained by the practitioner.
If you agree to a face-to-face meeting, the practitioner will visit the offender and go through a similar process. In order for a Restorative Justice meeting to take place, the offender must admit what they have done and be willing to take part in the process.
If both you and the offender agree to a face-to-face meeting, the practitioner will facilitate it in a safe environment. You will be able to take somebody with you as support, whether a family member, friend or someone from a support agency like Victim Support. You will hear the offender take responsibility for their actions and be able to ask them any questions you have. You will also be able to explain how the crime has affected you and those close to you.
As Restorative Justice focuses on the future, you will be given the opportunity in the meeting to make suggestions as to what the offender can do to repair the harm caused and to prevent them reoffending.
Victims can find out more information about the restorative service at www.restorativesouthyorkshire.co.uk text SYRJ to 82055 or call the dedicated helpline on 0800 561 1000
There is also a Twitter account set up @RestorativeSY where additional information and good news will be tweeted out.