A new briefing published by the Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA) highlights the importance of using high quality restorative justice processes on a much wider scale. It sets out what restorative justice is, the benefits of restorative justice, and how it can be implemented across the criminal justice system.
With rising prison populations and prison expenditure increasing annually, the justice system has become overburdened and ineffective, characterised by high recidivism rates and low victim confidence. The Government has come under increasing pressure to keep people out of the criminal justice system where it is safe and appropriate to do so. The CJA believes that implementing restorative justice interventions as an alternative to prison, at the pre-sentence stage or as part or all of a sentence will help to alleviate this pressure.
Restorative justice is a process in which everyone involved in the crime comes together to talk about the impact of that crime and what can be done to repair the harm caused. Although it has clear benefits, including high victim satisfaction rates, reduced recidivism rates and can effectively deliver cost savings, it remains under-utilised for adult offenders in England and Wales.
While the CJA is pleased with the Government's commitment to utilise restorative justice interventions on a larger scale, it also calls for the implementation of legislation that places a duty on criminal justice agencies to offer restorative justice to all victims of crime pre-sentence, whenever the offender pleads guilty and agrees to participate in the process.
- Read full briefing here