Celebrating Restorative Justice Week 2023
Posted 16th November 2023
Restorative Justice week is taking place between the 19th and 25th November 2023, and aims to raise awareness of the voluntary service that brings together victims and perpetrators to help find a way forward.
Now in its eighth year, the Essex Restorative Mediation Service (ERMS), which is overseen by the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, has helped hundreds of victims and harmers find some form of resolution.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Roger Hirst said: “Restorative Justice is a brilliant service that brings about positive outcomes for victims and helps resolve conflict. It has also proven to be an effective tool in reducing reoffending.
“I would like to thank the ERMS team and our volunteers whose hard work and dedication allows us to deliver the service, and helps make Essex a safer place to live, work and thrive.”
ERMS Delivery Manager Abby Hare said: “The Essex Restorative and Mediation Service works with people who have been involved in conflict by using restorative processes.
“It brings offenders and victims together, allowing victims to ask questions and discuss the impact of the crime, while offenders gain an understanding of the harm that’s been caused.”
Restorative justice is voluntary and both sides need to agree for the contact to take place. Requests for referrals can be made by victims or offenders, and can cover a range of cases including criminal behaviour, anti-social behaviour, hate crime and domestic abuse.
Abby added: “What we do is provide a safe space for people to communicate and allow them to work towards positive outcomes.
“Our results are really positive with 97 per cent of those going through a restorative process saying they would recommend the process to others.”
The ERMS team is supported by over forty volunteer facilitators who receive extensive training to help individuals affected by conflict share their stories, rebuild relationships, and find closure.
In the year 2022- 2023 ERMS:
- processed 262 referrals and made contact with 599 people.
- received a satisfaction rate of 97 per cent from participants.
- had feedback showing that 100 per cent of harmers reported having a better understanding of their actions.
- volunteers gave over 945 hours of service.
If you would like to find out how to refer yourself or someone you know to the service, or if you would be interested in becoming a volunteer, you can contact the team at: www.restorativeessex.co.uk