Our facilitators can help you, even if the other party does not want to engage in the process. There is some misconception that successful RJ means a face to face meeting. Actually, successful RJ means ‘real’ access to the process for the victims, and even if the other person doesn’t engage, that in itself can provide an answer.
Here’s a short interview with a recent participant which shines a light on what the RJ process did for her:
Q: How did you become aware of restorative justice being an option for you to explore?
A: It was my victim liaison officer who phoned me and asked if I’d be interested in restorative justice. I didn’t know what it meant so once she explained it, I said yes definitely.
Q: What was it that you would have liked to have got out of the RJ process?
A: I would have liked to have been able to put my point across to the prison service because of the nature of the crime being so serious. What shocked me the most was that he doesn’t have to be made accountable for what he’s done whilst in prison, and I wanted to see him face to face to find out if he’d then become accountable for it.
Q: Tell us about the process, what worked for you?
A: I liked the one to one meetings with the facilitators who came round. They were superb and I felt that I was being listened to. They always kept me updated and were very good.
Q: What didn’t work for you?
A: The part where the facilitators had to keep waiting on answers.
Q: Tell us how you felt when you found out the perpetrator wouldn’t engage with RJ?
A: Angry. I feel that he’s not got that right to say no. I don’t see why he should have a say in it. He’s committed the crime, I haven’t, so by him saying no and that being accepted that means he’s got the final say. But the fact he is still denying says a lot. ? Even though he denied the offence, I would have liked to have gone through the RJ process and looked him in the face to ask him why.
Q: What would you say to anyone who might be in a similar position and may be deciding whether to explore RJ or not?
A: I would say still go ahead with it because every case is different, and you might be one of the lucky ones.