RESTORATIVE APPROACHES

The Somerset Guardian, 4th May 2022

Recently, a representative of an organisation called ‘Restorative Approaches’ visited my surgery to discuss the work that the group carries out.

Restorative Approaches is a Somerset-based charity that is linked to Avon and Somerset Police. One of the main objectives is to attain restorative justice, which can offer some form of resolution for victims of crime or anti-social behaviour. It is also important for offenders who take part to understand how their actions have harmed those who have suffered from their crimes thus giving them an opportunity to change their ways for their own good and for that of the victims.

The Restorative Justice facilitators, who are volunteers, prepare people to talk to one another directly or indirectly, offering scope in a safe space to discuss what happened. This gives participants a greater understanding of why certain damaging events occurred and therefore, the chance to appreciate the harm caused as a result, ultimately with the aim of repairing the damage that was done. The charity prides itself on offering an alternative way of coping with an offence or incident by focusing on the needs of the individuals involved, all of whom are permitted to have a professional, family member or friend to support them.

Restorative Justice can be used in different situations ranging from more minor anti-social behaviours to serious crime with over 98% of people who use the service expressing a high level of satisfaction. These are highly encouraging statistics that show with open dialogue in a secure environment the victim can be comforted and the perpetrator led away from crime.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance: jacob.reesmogg.mp@parliament.uk.

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