Developing Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire
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.
Police and Crime Commissioners are responsible for commissioning restorative justice services in Cambridgeshire from the grant they receive from the Ministry of Justice for Victims’ Services.
Accessing Restorative Justice in Cambridgeshire
If you have been a victim of any type of crime, whether recently or historically, and are interested in speaking to someone to explore whether restorative justice could be for you can call 0800 781 6818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to know more about what restorative justice is you can speak to the Restorative Justice Co-ordinator on the above number or visit:
- The Constabulary website: https://www.cambs.police.uk/victims/rj/
- Restorative Justice Council: www.restorativejustice.org.uk
The Cambridgeshire model
Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner both agreed, in their first strategic vision for Restorative Justice, to “work in partnership with other agencies develop, embed and deliver an extended range of appropriate and sustainable Restorative Justice interventions which: improve victim satisfaction, promote desistence and create safer stronger communities”.
A multi-agency virtual RJ Hub has been set up by the Constabulary, funded by the PCC to act as a single point of contact for RJ enquiries. This bespoke model works alongside the Constabulary-run Cambridgeshire Victims’ Hub and is part of the wider integrated model of support services for victims of crime.
The RJ Co-ordinator will assess all referrals to RJ, no crime types are excluded, and then allocate a suitable facilitator. This could be from a bank of trained volunteers, who are trained and supervised by the Co-ordinator, or an experienced colleague from a partner agency. This model enables the service to run comprehensively with minimal funding.
How victims are made aware of RJ?
The Victims’ Hub sends a letter to every single victim of reported crime which includes details of the opportunity to explore restorative justice. Those victims who are identified with needs, when they initially report their crime, are contacted by the Victims’ Hub staff – during this call the restorative justice offer is made as part of a bespoke recovery plan. Victims can also self-refer to the Hub.
What happens if an offender requests RJ?
The RJ 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 Co-ordinator will work alongside the partner organisation to ensure any outcomes are victim focused. In Cambridgeshire the Hub works in partnership with: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Youth Offending Services, the National Probation Service, the Community Rehabilitation Company and Peterborough Prison. The Hub is supporting the prison to become a restorative facility.
Commissioning of restorative justice provision in Cambridgeshire – allocation of funds
Funds received from the Ministry of Justice 2013/14 £50K
- Restorative solutions were commissioned to carry out a scoping study of RJ provision in the county to inform the development of a model for the county.
- Peterborough Youth Offending Service and Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service were awarded £10k each to enable victim-initiated RJ where the offender was within their system and to raise awareness with young victims of RJ.
Funds received from the Ministry of Justice 2014/15 £90k
- Commissioning intentions were published seeking a co-funding delivery partner for one-year (December 2014 – 2015) to support development of a Constabulary-led RJ model. Restorative Solutions were appointed as the successful partner and funded an RJ Co-ordinator for one year from April 2015. Their role includes supporting the development of the model, acting as a critical friend and champion and providing a comprehensive training programme.
Funds received from the Ministry of Justice 2015/16 £183k
- Cambridgeshire Constabulary were awarded funds to develop, embed and deliver a virtual RJ Hub based alongside the Victims’ Hub. This included recruiting and training a bank of volunteers, colleagues from partner agencies and raising awareness within the entire Constabulary of the RJ offer. New links have been made with the charity the Road Victims Trust to extend the RJ offer to victims of road crime following the November 2015 amendment to the Victims’ Code.
- The delivery partnership with Restorative Solutions was extended until December 2016 – after that period it is expected the RJ Hub will operate independently. Their role in this second year is to support RJ work within the Troubled Families world and with Registered Social Landlords. All non-specialist training is now delivered in-house by Constabulary staff.
- Restorative Solutions MOU(PDF 39Kb)