This morning the RJC has sent an email "asking all our members to support our call to Government to enact restorative justice legislation" by Friday, June 22, 2012 (TODAY), and to take advantage of this "opportunity to make restorative justice available to all victims of crime."
The email states:
Why we need restorative justice legislation
Restorative justice has been shown to work, both internationally and by a £7 million Government research programme, but access to restorative justice remains a lottery for victims of crime. By offering restorative justice to victims as soon as an offender pleads guilty restorative justice would provide judges with better information to inform sentencing and give victims the earliest opportunity to take part. There has not been a single case of restorative justice being offered at this pre-sentence stage since the research trials closed in 2004 – without legislation pre-sentence restorative justice will not happen.
RJC, with Victim Support, the Prison Reform Trust and the Criminal Justice Alliance, have proposed amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill to introduce legislation for restorative justice. These amendments were widely supported in the House of Lords but was turned down by the Government awaiting this consultation.
How you can help
This Friday 22nd June is the deadline for public responses to the Government’s consultation on their plans for restorative justice.
The RJC itself has submitted a 15-page response making a strong argument for the effectiveness of and need for pre-sentence restorative justice processes based on research, evaluation, case study and testimony. That pdf if available here.
The above information is also available on the web here.
Les Davey, CEO, IIRP UK & Ireland writes:
“All the research indicates the effectiveness of restorative justice and practices and has been accepted by all main political parties. Although the government are making all the right noises, this has not yet been backed up by firm commitment through legislation and full funding. Your voice in this consultation process could make all the difference and turn positive words into actions. I therefore urge you to support this call by the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) to submit a response to the consultation before it closes today."