Restorative Justice

at post-sentencing level supporting and protecting victims

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Restoring the Balance

By Louise Carrington-Dye and Graham Dix

We are three organisations, Thames Valley Partnership, Victim Support and Thames Valley Probation working together to provide an RJ service to victims and learn lessons from our practice which will help develop a model of best practice in Europe.

The majority of RJ undertaken in the UK to date has started with an approach to the offender to see if they would be prepared to meet their victim. Research has shown high levels of victim satisfaction and clear benefits for victims. The UK Government aims to offer RJ to victims at all points in the Criminal Justice system. Our project aims to pioneer this approach by receiving referrals from agencies who support victims, including Victim Support, as well as self-referrals from victims.

We will receive referrals of victims of offences causing personal harm and we will start the process by exploring the victim’s needs within a restorative framework. We aim to achieve ten face-to-face meetings between victim and offender, their families friends and supporters within a conference model. Where this is not possible we will offer other approaches. These approaches may include visits for victims to prisons and this could include a meeting with offenders whose victims do not wish to meet them in the form of a ‘healing circle’.

Three RJ Facilitators are engaged on a part-time basis to do this work. We have made presentations to key agencies and have set up our referral and case management processes. So far three referrals have been considered. Our next steps are to approach caseworkers in key agencies to discuss specific potential cases and to invite referrals through explanation of the project on local radio in Thames Valley

Louise Carrington-Dye was formerly a Legal Executive in youth justice and family law before she trained as a teacher. It was from her close work with young people who found themselves disaffected from society and education that she trained in mediation and restorative justice. She continued to use this valuable skill as a driver to engage and motivate young people and to encourage them to identify and build on their own skills; and to use these to grow and deal with situations in a more positive way and to channel this new founded energy into becoming more active in society.

She continues to work in this field for Thames Valley probation and in family and community mediation and is very excited at the prospect of working and growing with the Euro Project.

Graham Dix served as a uniformed Police Officer within Thames Valley Police. As a Police Sergeant he became involved in Restorative Justice as a practitioner when it was first introduced into the United Kingdom in 1996. In 1999 he was seconded to work as an Operational Manager within Oxfordshire Youth Offending Team where he developed, managed and delivered restorative outcomes for pre-court youth disposals. He was further seconded to work within the national Youth Justice Board where he developed a national training package for Youth Offending Teams on use of Restorative Justice in pre-court disposals, in addition to identifying and promoting effective practice in youth justice. As a Police Inspector he was responsible for Youth Justice and Youth Engagement throughout the force. He also developed the Thames Valley Police Restorative Justice Strategy, Delivery Plan and Training packages, which included forming and managing a team of trainers.

Since retiring from the Police he now works for Thames Valley Restorative Justice as a Facilitator.




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With the financial support from the Criminal Justice Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibilty of "Schleswig-Holsteinischer Verband für soziale Strafrechtpflege; Straffälligen- und Opferhilfe e.V" and can in no way be taken to refect the views of the European Commission.