Restorative Justice - the tough option

By Jonathan Bartley
May 28, 2010

Juliet Lyon from the Prison Reform Trust has drawn my attention to a great new initiative, which seeks to show that restorative justice is not a 'soft' option.

The new organisation 'Why Me?' has been set up by, and for, victims of crime who have benefited from their experience of Restorative Justice (where victims and offenders meet face to face).

Its vision is that Restorative Justice should be available for all victims of crime who want it.

What makes the initiative particularly powerful, is that behind it are a victim and offender who encountered one another during a burglary.

You can watch them talk about their experience in the video below, but in a nutshell Peter Woolf was a prolific offender, ensconced in a world of violence, who, by his own reckoning committed about 20,000 crimes. Then he burgled a house, fought with his victim and ended up in prison yet again. This time though it was different. Peter met with his victim, Will, in a restorative justice session that took place in the prison. The meeting changed both their lives for ever.

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