Greater Manchester Restorative Justice Service
The Greater Manchester Restorative Justice Service has been commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority, in partnership with Greater Manchester Police, to provide a one-stop shop for all things restorative justice.Restorative justice (sometimes referred to as "RJ") gives you the chance to tell the offender how their crime has affected you. The offender is then given the opportunity to repair this harm and make amends.
This process will only take place if both you and the offender want it to, and if trained facilitators agree that it is safe.
Restorative justice can be done in different ways – for example through face-to-face meetings, or exchanged messages, but it will always be done under the guidance of a trained professional.
The Greater Manchester Restorative Justice Service is being delivered by a specialist restorative justice charity, Remedi.
You can contact the Greater Manchester Restorative Justice service by email:
- 0161 856 4866
Find out more about Remedi:
How it can help
You may welcome the opportunity to meet the offender and explain to them the harm that they have caused you. You will also be able to make suggestions as to how this harm can be repaired.
In some cases, victims and survivors find that meeting the person who has caused them harm leaves them feeling empowered, giving them a ‘voice’ in the criminal justice system.
You will be able to ask them why they did what they did, and other questions you may have. Some victims find that, even when they know the offender, meeting them in a safe, controlled environment and talking about what they did, makes them feel better about the prospect of potentially bumping into them again out in the community.
The empowered victim and survivor feel less vulnerable and threatened, and is able to move on with their life.
Offenders are confronted with the impact of their crime, putting a human face to the damage and harm they have caused. This is a very challenging experience for the offender and can be a powerful deterrent in committing crimes again in the future.
When can restorative justice be used?
You can ask for restorative justice at any stage of the criminal justice process for most crimes – for example alongside a community order or prison sentence.
Restorative justice isn’t an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system, it is tool used in addition to those formal outcomes.
Although there are no crimes specifically excluded as being suitable for restorative justice, certain categories of crime require additional work completed in the preparation and risk assessment stage. Examples of this include cases of domestic abuse.
All requests for restorative justice will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and if you ask for this service, you will be advised whether or not it is appropriate for your particular crime and case.
The specialist provider will work with partners in the criminal justice system – police, probation and rehabilitation services, prisons, youth offender teams – as well as other specialist victim services, to ensure the right support is in place for both the victim and offender.
Restorative justice often involves a structured meeting, where a victim meets their offender face to face in a safe, controlled environment.
In preparation of any communication or meeting between a victim and offender, a trained facilitator will visit you and talk through the process, managing your expectations and answering any questions you may have. It is not uncommon for victims and survivors to have questions, concerns and queries about the restorative justice process. That’s why facilitators will only go ahead with the meeting once you are completely happy and comfortable with the arrangements.
Facilitators will go at your pace and neither you nor the offender will be under any obligation to take part in the process, and either of you can choose to withdraw from it at any time if you want to.
Sometimes, when a face to face meeting is not the best way forward, the victim and offender will communicate via letters, audio or video recording instead.
For any kind of communication to take place, the offender must have admitted to the crime, and both victim and offender must be willing to participate.
If you decide you no longer wish to take part, alternative options of support will be available to you.
At the end of any restorative justice meeting or message exchange, both parties will agree on a way to repair any harm done. This agreement will form the basis of the restorative process. This could be a simple apology, practically repairing the harm for any damage caused or a commitment from the offender to address their behaviour by attending a specific course.
Hear from others who have been through it
Hearing the personal accounts of those who have already been through the restorative justice process can give you some reassurance as to the benefits of the process, so you can decide if it’s right for you. Below are several videos explaining the process and peoples experiences of restorative justice.
Further case studies can be found here:
What happens if you are not happy with the process?
Restorative justice is completely voluntary and you should not feel under any undue pressure to take part. Trained facilitators will talk you through the whole process and answer any questions you may have on your restorative journey.
If you would like to get in touch for whatever reason you can contact the Greater Manchester Restorative Justice Service at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, you can contact the commissioned specialist provider Remedi, direct at email@example.com
The videos on this page give you some insight into the restorative justice process and the impact it can have on victims of crime and offenders.
They include stories from victims of crime who have experienced the process, and also a video produced by Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company which shows you what their restorative justice process is like from the offender's point of view.