Restorative justice offers the parties to a conflict or offence the opportunity to talk about what happened and its consequences in a safe environment. They will be able to express their needs and find ways to repair the damage and increase their well-being and sense of security. At the meeting, an impartial mediator will be available to help discuss the facts and implications of the act.
Restorative justice helps to reduce the emotional and material harm caused by the act, to make the perpetrator responsible before the victim, to increase the satisfaction of the parties involved, and to reduce the likelihood of new conflicts. It is a collaborative method that can involve people related to the act, but also those who can help to find solutions, such as a family member, teacher, friend or witness.
Restorative justice is not suitable for every case but in many situations, it will still give a better result than usual. Restorative justice methods and the active involvement of the parties involved have proven their worth in dealing with youth offences, school conflicts, road accidents, neighbour disputes, bullying and many other difficult situations. It is simply a question of the willingness of the parties to participate.
If you are in doubt about whether your case is suitable for mediation, feel free to contact the Head of the restorative justice service and enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can contact the restorative justice team and how?
- The parties to the offence or conflict;
- approaching can be suggested by a police officer, teacher, child protection worker, counsellor, representative, etc.
To apply, feel free to contact email@example.com.
What happens next?
The referrer (e.g., police officer, child protection worker, support specialist) sends the case description together with the consent forms to the Social Insurance Board. The mediator there will first contact the victim and arrange a meeting time. They then do the same with the suspect.
In the individual meetings, the specialist will explain the mediation process, the importance of the joint meeting and what will be discussed. In the joint meeting, the parties will talk about what happened, their feelings and thoughts, and how to make amends. If possible, an agreement will be reached at the meeting and forwarded to the referrer who performs supervision.
The mediator has the right to send the case back if:
- at least one of the parties is not willing or motivated to participate fully in the mediation;
- participation can be re-victimising;
- the perpetrator does not confess to the act of which they are suspected;
- the parties are not interested in a joint meeting which, however, is necessary for mediation to be of help.
Restorative justice meetings provide an opportunity to:
- talk about what happened in the presence of a neutral person;
- be heard;
- talk about your feelings and thoughts;
- take responsibility for the act;
- agree on how to make amends;
- recover from the events;
- remedy the damage caused with the act.