This week marks Restorative Justice Week and to learn more about the effects of restorative justice on both victims and perpetrators, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has been meeting virtually with victims who have benefitted from the restorative justice service he funds – which is delivered by Remedi.
Throughout the week Dr Billings will have met with victims who have sought help from meeting those who have committed crimes against them. He has listened as they have explained their reasons for taking part, how they felt before and the feelings they have been left with following the experience.
Dr Billings said: “Whilst not for everyone, restorative justice can be a surprisingly positive experience for all involved. This week, I have spoken to the sister of a murder victim, a mother who lost her teenage son in a road traffic collision and a young man who was abused by members of his own family as a child.
“They have all benefitted in different ways either from speaking face-to face with the people involved in harming them or by exchanging letters. This has enabled them to ask questions that have disturbed them since the crimes were committed against them or their family member. It has helped some to go further in the grieving process and in some cases to find healing in ways they did not imagine they could.
“The restorative justice programme is not an easy path to take for either party. It takes great courage for a victim to meet with the person who has caused them so much pain.
“This week will have a profound effect on me, I have learnt a great deal from the victims who have kindly agreed to speak to me and I thank them for sharing their experiences with me. This has been an informative and humbling week.”
For more information about restorative justice and to hear stories from those who have taken part please see the Restorative South Yorkshire website.