To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of restorative justice; and what plans, if any, they have for encouraging its use.
23 February 2021
The Government remains committed to the provision of good quality, victim-focused restorative justice to help victims cope and recover from the effects of crime. From April 2019 to March 2020, the Ministry of Justice provided about £76m to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), with about £3.9m spent on restorative justice services. PCCs also spent another £1.8m from other sources on restorative justice services. PCCs are responsible for evaluating victim services that they commission locally, including restorative justice.
In addition to the PCC funded schemes, restorative justice is also available in the youth justice system and provided by some probation Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs). From 26 June 2021, probation services delivery arrangements will change, bringing services together under 12 regional probation directors (RPDs) with responsibility and funding for commissioning specialist rehabilitative services from other sectors. The new commissioning framework includes a category for restorative justice services and has been designed to support local co-commissioning between PCCs, RPDs, health commissioners and local government. This is important for improving standards and ensuring safe and effective practice.
Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, all victims have the right to receive information about how to access restorative justice services in their local area to participate if they wish to do so. The revised Code was published in November 2020 and will come into effect on 1 April 2021 and will be widely communicated to victims and criminal justice practitioners. The revised Code includes information which explains what restorative justice is and how it works. The Government will work with criminal justice agencies and organisations providing support to victims of crime to raise awareness of victims’ rights under the Code.