Bridging divides and strengthening communities – spotlight on Restorative Justice
We’re shining the spotlight on Restorative Justice this week to as part of Restorative Justice Week 2022.
The Essex Restorative and Mediation Service, based within our office, works with people who have been involved in conflict, including criminal offences. They use restorative processes to communicate between people who have been harmed, and have caused harm, to allow them to work towards positive outcomes in a safe environment. The service is impartial and works to achieve a positive way forward for everyone involved.
As well as being very experienced with working with criminal behaviour, the team also work with anti-social behaviour, hate crime and domestic abuse cases.
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This week, we’re highlighting the restorative justice services available to Essex residents.
“Restorative Justice can be effective in showing the responsible person the real impact of their actions by putting a face to their crime. It also gives the victim and their families the chance to tell the offender how they feel about what has happened, ask for an apology and get answers to their questions.
“We use it alongside the criminal justice system and can be powerful for both victims and perpetrators.
The team consists of a service delivery manager, two restorative justice (RJ) co-ordinators, an RJ administrator, and a support staff member. They oversee the running of the service including supporting and recruiting our facilitators, liaising with service users and other organisations, arranging mediation / RJ conferences and delivering training. They are all experienced, accredited RJ and mediation practitioners.
We have 41 Restorative and Mediation Service facilitators who volunteer their time to support victims of crime in Essex.
Emma Goddard, Restorative and Mediation Service Manager said: “Restorative justice is a process which brings offenders and victims into some form of communication, allowing victims to ask question, discuss the impact of the crime and get some form of closure. It also allows offenders to understand the harm that’s been caused and make amends, which has been proven to reduce re-offending.”
Roger added: “I’m proud of the team and the volunteers and the difference they make to people’s lives.”
Find out more about the Essex Restorative and Mediation Service at www.restorativeessex.co.uk
People interested in volunteering with the service can also find out more via the website or email [email protected]
Notes to journalists: Emma Goddard is available for media interviews about the service. If you are interested, please contact [email protected]