As part of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s commitment that all victims and all offenders should be able to access this service in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton, residents of HMP YOI Winchester (Her Majesty’s Prison / Young Offenders Institute) are finding out how they can take part.
Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane said:
“While Restorative Justice is a victim focused approach, which helps those who have experienced harm to find answers and take further steps on their journey to recovery, it also has benefits for the offender.
It can help them fully understand the impact of their behaviour and to learn from this and turn their own lives around.
“Restorative Justice is already demonstrating that it has the potential to reduce re-offending when combined with the right interventions.
“Our approach to Restorative Justice is very much partnership orientated. We work closely with our colleagues in the Constabulary, the prison, other criminal justice agencies and partners in the voluntary and community sector who support victims and work with offenders to ensure that Restorative Justice is accessible to anyone who has been affected by crime and wants to take part.”
Throughout the morning of the 20 November residents at HMP YOI Winchester were able to ask members of the Commissioner’s Team, and his Restorative Justice service provider, questions about Restorative Justice. There was also a session for staff and partner agencies that work with residents to better equip them to support the residents and help them make informed choices; whether in relation to actively requesting to take part in Restorative Justice or on how to respond if someone they have harmed has made a request.
Rachel, who has taken part in Restorative Justice through the service provided by the Police and Crime Commissioner, said:
“I think this is a fantastic process.
“I have been supported all the way through, and there was never any pressure on me to continue if I didn’t want to. I was so nervous to meet my offender, and to hear the same from him just made me realise that at the end of the day we are both just two people who are human beings. To see the impact that this has had on him and for him to see the impact on me I feel will stick with him until his release. I hope that he will continue to be supported.”
Gary Wright, Head of Reducing Reoffending, HMP YOI Winchester, said:
“It is clearly evidenced that Restorative Justice provides an opportunity for improved outcomes for victims and that it can have a direct impact on reducing the re-offending rates of offenders.
“HMP YOI Winchester is fully committed to embracing restorative principles and embedding them in our daily practice.
“We fully support the Commissioner’s Restorative Justice strategy and commit to create a supportive environment for any victim who wishes to go through the process while the offender is still in custody.”