Research indicates that those participating in a restorative justice process report high levels of satisfaction, increased confidence in the justice system, greater rates of agreement completion from offenders, and feeling safer and more connected to their communities. In addition, the use of restorative justice practices has been shown to create cost savings for the criminal justice system.
In 2012, the Victoria Police Chief, Jamie Graham made this statement:
“I would like to see restorative justice in Victoria become one of the cornerstones of community policing. Restorative justice is a common sense approach to dealing with certain offenders who admit responsibility for their crimes and is a surefire way to hold them accountable for their actions while simultaneously addressing the needs of victims. Restorative justice saves money, it streamlines resources and consequences are experienced immediately.”
Here’s what some other’s have had to say about RJ Victoria
"The most harm done to me was the shattering of my faith in people. I was able to meet with the offender, realize it was a crime of opportunity and fully accept it was nothing personal. It was apparent that his life was going to improve thanks to this process. I was able to finally process my anger and once again see that all things happen for a good reason. In this case, it was in order for the responsible party to do something meaningful for our community and resolve his feelings of guilt so he could move on."
"I am walking away with closure I wasn't expecting to get."
“The support and leadership you provided throughout this challenging period was remarkable. From our first contact with VRJS through to the natural resolution, the process was conducted professionally and in a very considerate manner. We truly felt the needs of [organization] were supported and at no time were we pressured or uncomfortable with the process.”
"I have grown so much, realized my wrongs and am now trying to fix them. I am more reliable and confident."
"I am very grateful to have been offered the opportunity to make amends through a community-based process rather than through punitive means. The process enabled me to think about what I had done and what I would do differently and how to contribute to a community. The program assisted me in making positive changes that would have been considerably more difficult if I had to find a way to move forward while managing heavy fines and a criminal record."
"They gave me a second chance. Not a lot people get a shot at correcting things. I feel like I had a great opportunity to straighten my life out."
"I believe it was a good opportunity and helped me grow and learn from my mistakes. It did a lot more for me than having gone through the court system. The experience was very valuable to me."
"I want to thank RJ for even having a program that helps right wrongs. I believe that people often act out of emotional turmoil and those things cannot simply be fixed with a court sentence or fine. RJ is beneficial because there are staff who will truly listen and help uncover the reasons that led to the incident and are passionate about reversing the wrongdoings."
“I put a human face to the harm I caused.”
VIC Police Department Chief Constable 2016
“Restorative Justice Victoria’s innovative partnerships with VicPD officers have brought together responsible parties and affected parties to help restore our communities’ sense of health and safety. The expertise and caring professionalism with which the RJV staff and volunteers approach each file are transformative for all involved. Our officers speak time and again to the value that these files have to our community. Restorative Justice Victoria are valued partners in our work in keeping our community safe and healthy.”