The Government supports the provision of good quality, victim focussed restorative justice to help victims cope and recover from the effects of crime.
We have made progress against the Ministry of Justice’s current Action Plan on Restorative Justice, published last year. This plan sets out the measures we are taking to raise awareness of restorative justice and seeks to allow victims of crime access to quality restorative justice services no matter the crime committed against them or where they live in England and Wales. With rigorous risk assessment and ongoing safeguarding in place, restorative justice carried out by experienced and skilled practitioners, can benefit victims’ recovery.
Legislation provides for courts to defer sentence to allow restorative activities to take place, and in other circumstances to form part of a community sentence as a restorative justice requirement. In all instances, this may only be imposed where all parties involved in the activity consent and where the activity provides opportunity for the victim to have their say. We are clear however, that restorative justice should be used alongside formal criminal justice processes, and not as a substitute to a criminal justice system response.