RESTORATIVE JUSTICE AND MEDIATION HUB
The Commissioner is responsible for commissioning restorative justice (RJ) services from the grant he receives from the Ministry of Justice for Victims’ Services.
In Cheshire, the Restorative Justice and Mediation Service is provided by Remedi. Remedi work across Cheshire with a clear focus on positive outcomes for victims, as well as working with communities, families and individuals to support mediation where there is risk of crime or victimisation.
The service, based in Ellesmere Port Police Station, is responsible for coordinating restorative practices across partners and delivering specifically targeted training. They also aim to bring restorative practices across Cheshire schools and develop a team of volunteers.
What is Restorative Justice?
Restorative Justice (RJ) is a process which “brings those harmed by crime or conflict, and those responsible for the harm, into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward”.
The process is completely voluntary for both parties. It can empower victims by letting them have their say and helping them to move on with their lives and it can help offenders to recognise the impact of what they have done and make amends.
It is about helping people to communicate following a crime. It provides victims with a chance to explain the impact of the offence and ask questions and it helps offenders to explain their actions and offer an apology.
Involvement in Restorative Justice is voluntary and confidential.
Victim led RJ
The core principle of service for the Restorative Justice & Mediation Hub (the Hub) is victim centred service, which is the model preferred by Government and the Victim's Code.
The Hub brings together victims and offenders to help resolve the many issues that can be left outstanding after a crime. Ultimately Restorative Justice aims to reduce re-offending and reduce the long term damage caused by crime and bringing victims in to the process helps that happen.
In Cheshire there are many staff working in partner agencies within the criminal justice system who are trained to deliver RJ. The Hub works with these partners to ensure that RJ is facilitated by the most appropriate practitioner, dependent upon the victim and offender circumstances, while maintaining the focus on the outcomes for the victim. A hub model helps build capacity in the sector and increase resilience in partner organisations to ensure that the service in Cheshire is as robust as possible.
The Hub has a core a commitment to effective partnership working with third sector partners and statutory agencies, and working with stakeholders means that victims and offenders alike can expect a coordinated and equal service across the county.
What happens if an offender requests RJ?
The Hub acts as a firewall between agencies supporting offenders to face up to their actions and their victims. The Hub carries out all contact with victims where an offender has requested they consider taking part in RJ. The RJ Hub will work alongside the partner organisation to ensure any outcomes are victim focused.
What is mediation?
Mediation helps those experiencing conflict to communicate and find a way forward to address the individual needs of all parties.
It is suitable for community and family conflict, where there is victimisation or a significant risk of victimisation (a crime does not have to had occurred).
Involvement in mediation is voluntary and confidential.