Restorative Justice GOOD NEWS STORY

16 August 2016 Posted by

A victim of crime has described RJ Cornwall as “a fantastic idea” and “a fantastic service” after she met the offender who broke into her home and stole an iPad.

The couple attended a Restorative Justice (RJ) conference where Gill (not her real name) broke down and wept when she heard about the chaotic lifestyle of the young man. He had been living rough and was addicted to drugs at the time of the burglary. As a result, the woman and her husband decided to become part of the support network for the offender and to write to him during his sentence.

According to RJ Cornwall the offender showed genuine remorse from the outset of the meeting and apologised several times. He gave an honest account of his offending and displayed a willingness to change and move his life forward.

There were a number of agreements made at the conference. The offender has agreed during his jail term to receive help for his drug addiction, mentoring support and help with reading and writing. His supervisor will follow up a with a referral for treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and RJ Cornwall will work with the council to look at assisting with accommodation for him when he leaves jail. They’ve also contacted Timpson, the shoe repair and key cutting company, which offers job opportunities to ex-offenders.

Gill said she “felt completely prepared” for the conference because of the professionalism of the RJ facilitators. She admitted to feeling very nervous beforehand and was anxious about the how the offender would react. But when he described his remorse and, upon further questioning, revealed his background Gill said, “….it was absolutely heart breaking…” and “…I was full of compassion for him.”

Gill added that she is delighted the RJ service is available and feels it can only benefit local communities and society as a whole.

Restorative Cornwall and its service providers, funded through the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Cornwall Council, aim to give victims of crime and anti-social behaviour a greater voice in the outcome of cases, with a view to reducing re-offending rates in the county.

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About the Author

Simon, Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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