The South Yorkshire Restorative Justice hub was launched on 2 June 2015.  Since then, awareness of Restorative Justice has grown significantly across the county with a large number of victims receiving contact from our trained practitioners.

The hub has processed 1,342 cases for initial contact, 245 of which are currently live.  To date, there have been 6 direct Restorative Justice outcomes (face to face meetings) and 15 indirect outcomes (written communication). 37 of our live cases are progressing towards Restorative Justice;14 will result in a direct Restorative Justice outcome between the victim and offender.

Since the launch of the Restorative Justice Hub, there have been five direct outcomes of a Restorative Justice conference and 15 indirect outcomes, where the victim and offender do not meet, but restorative justice takes place by means of a letter, apology or other action requested by the victim.

A direct Restorative Justice outcome is when a victim can ask to meet the offender who committed the crime against them.  Remedi, South Yorkshire’s Restorative Justice provider visit victims and asses the case and its suitability for Restorative Justice.  If the case is deemed suitable and after relevant risk assessments, the offender will be contacted and asked to take part.

Restorative Justice can take part anywhere.  The meeting can take place in the prison or at an agreed location, subject to it being safe for both the victim and the offender.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire said:  “I am very pleased with how the South Yorkshire Restorative Justice Hub has been received.  The funding from the Ministry of Justice provided to offer this service has been well used in raising awareness of Restorative Justice, which is a complex issue, but also providing the service.

“Restorative Justice offers victims the opportunity to ask questions of their offenders that they would not normally have the opportunity to do.  When a crime is committed, many victims feel it was personal, that they are still unsafe and sometimes they were to blame.  By having to opportunity to speak to those who have committed the crime, they will find this is very often not the case.

“We are receiving some excellent feedback from industry professionals and victims about the provision.  I hope anyone who is interested in finding out more, takes the opportunity to visit the website or call the information line to see how the service can help them.

The Restorative Justice service is being supported by a Ministry of Justice grant provided to the Commissioner and is a partnership initiative led by the South Yorkshire Criminal Justice Board, which comprises criminal justice partners including Office of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, South Yorkshire Police, Crown Prosecution Service, HMCTS (Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service), South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company, Youth Offending Teams, Prisons, Legal Aid Agency and Victim Support. Remedi are the service provider for restorative justice in South Yorkshire.

To mark Restorative Justice Week which commenced on 15 November and will run to 21 November, case studies of South Yorkshire victims who have met with their offenders will be shared on the website.

If anyone would like more information on Restorative Justice in South Yorkshire, they can visit the website at call the Helpline Number 0800 561 1000 or Text SYRJ to 82055.

There is also a Twitter account @RestorativeSY that will be tweeting information throughout Restorative Justice Week.