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the best place to raise children
in flourishing families
Restorative justice is about restoring the community’s involvement in the justice process.
If you have been affected by an offence you may be offered a chance to take part in a restorative justice conference.
The conference process involves the victims and offenders talking in a safe environmentwith the support of trained Family Works restorative justice facilitators. The intention is to help restore the balance of power by giving the victims a voice and letting the offender hear directly how their actions have impacted on other people.
Who attends a restorative justice conference?
The victim, or person affected by a crime, and the offender, along with two restorative justice facilitators will always attend the conference. Sometimes family members and/or support people for the victim or offender will also attend.
What will happen during the meeting?
There is no standard process to a restorative justice conference – it all depends on those involved. However, the conference does give victims and offenders the opportunity to tell their stories, acknowledge the offence and discuss the harm caused; the offender can apologise and accept responsibility for the harm caused; and finally, all parties can reach an agreement for how the offender will work towards putting things right.
What if I’m unsure about taking part?
Restorative justice is a voluntary process. It will only take place if both the victim and the offender agree to it. In addition to this, offenders must admit responsibility for the offence before they enter the restorative justice process.
Before a restorative justice conference, the facilitators will meet separately with the offender and their support people, and then the victim and their support people, to assess whether a conference is appropriate. During this meeting you’ll be given more information about how the conference will work and an opportunity to choose whether to participate.
You may also choose to ‘opt out’ or take a break at any time during the restorative justice process.
Family Works restorative justice services are currently available in the Wairarapa. If you are looking for a similar service in another region please contact us to discuss your needs.
Family Works Central’s parenting education and support is only made possible thanks to the support and generosity of our communities. Click here to make a donation to Family Works Central or call 0508 TO HELP (that’s 0508 86 4357).