Why do we need a restorative criminal justice system?
The criminal justice system in England and Wales takes a punitive response to crime. It seeks to punish individuals but does very little to repair harm to victims and reconnect individuals to the community.
Restorative justice is a voluntary process which brings victims and individuals who have committed a crime into communication to address harm. Research shows it can improve victim satisfaction and wellbeing and reduce reoffending. But restorative justice is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wider restorative practice and approaches taking place across the criminal justice system.
Restorative practice and approaches support people to recognise harm, take responsibility, resolve tension and conflict, and repair relationships. Examples include interventions within prisons to reduce violence and within schools to prevent exclusions and subsequent criminal exploitation of children.
The CJA identifies opportunities for restorative justice, practice and approaches and advocates for a restorative criminal justice system.