Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Restorative Justice - Warwickshire VIP

I visited the Victim and Witness Information Partnership (VIP) this afternoon and had a very encouraging discussion on how we can make more use of Restorative Justice. This is something that has captured my imagination for years and seems total common sense.

For non-violent crime's rather than just slapping on an ASBO, the offender can face a Community Justice Panel where they are made to explain and apologise for their actions.
I heard how this can have a positive effect on the victim in terms of getting closure or understanding why this happened to them and for the offender it makes them confront the consequences of their actions. Part of the sentence can include a program of reparation to make amends for example repairing damage, community work and education.

The Warwickshire VIP is a ground breaking organisation pulling together many agencies within the justice system and has been used as a model elsewhere in the country.

The benefits of employing this type of justice are clear and I plan to spend some time with the Youth Offending Team to see how we can provide more support to the work they do in our county.

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