Published November 18, 2014 at 17:43
Some of the community who have recently become members of Youth Justice Services Justice Referral Order panels have talked about their experiences, and talked about why they decided to get involved.
Restorative Justice is the process of bringing those harmed by crime, and those responsible, into communication, which can offer victims the chance to be heard, get answers to questions and be part of providing a sense of closure.
A lot of preparatory work takes place before a victim and offender meet, and it is completely voluntary.
All volunteers took part in an intensive training course which included a three day restorative justice facilitators training conference.
During Restorative Just Week, two recent volunteers have talked about how utilising the referral order panels as victims led them to get involved, after seeing the difference that the service can make in the aftermath of an incident which affected them.
One of the volunteers, who did not want to be named, talked about meeting the person responsible for attacking a relative, and how this led to getting involved in the panels as a volunteer:
It has been a really good process becoming a panel member, with online and in-house training where all the volunteers could share their experiences and work together.
If I can play a part in helping someone turn their life around then I think that is a privilege.
Another volunteer, Steph, talks about her experiences and how these led to her volunteering for the panels.
Cllr Frank Connor, Executive Member for Children’s Services said:
Restorative Justice can help provide closure for the victims of crime, and has been shown to reduce the frequency of reoffending.
It is fantastic that some of the most recent volunteers have decided to become a member of the panels after themselves utilising the service as victims, and really goes to show that Restorative Justice can make a huge difference both to the offenders, as well as the victims.