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Hearing the victim's voice at Avon and Somerset Restorative Justice Conference

RJ Conference17.04

Volunteers, magistrates, policy makers and other professionals from across the criminal justice service were invited to a Restorative Justice Conference jointly hosted by Somerset Community Justice Partnership and Avon and Somerset Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) on Friday, April 17, 2015.

The theme of the event was ‘Hearing the Victim’s Voice: The New Local Justice by Local People’ and provided an opportunity for attendees to discuss the ever changing landscape of the Criminal Justice Service and ultimately to consider victims experiences from the point of incident to the courtroom and how this is developing.

Throughout the day guests heard from Chair of the Magistrates Association, Richard Monkhouse, Chief Executive Officer of the Restorative Justice Council, Jon Collins, Helen Rosenthal and Marc Hole from the OPCC and the pre-sentence pathfinder project and delivery managers, Chantelle Smith and Kate Hook.

Avon and Somerset Restorative Justice Development Manager, Helen Rosenthal said: "Through the development of restorative justice services in Avon and Somerset we want to provide a complete victim-focused restorative justice service available throughout all stages of the Criminal Justice Service or as an alternative, for all victims of crime and anti-social behaviour.

"This can only be achieved by working closely with partner organisations to develop a truly joined-up approach to delivering restorative justice services. It is only by adopting a multi-agency approach, that we can be committed to delivering our vision, improving the experience of victims throughout their journey."

The event was filmed and a recording will be available on the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Youtube channel soon.

Speaking after the event, Bev Higgs, Partnership Manager for Somerset Community Justice Partnership, who organised and chaired the event said: "It was great to see volunteer and professional practitioners of restorative justice at the same event and to hear about the introduction and practice of RJ from the perspective of the different criminal justice agencies. It was very worthwhile and something we may do again in the future."

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Avon and Somerset Police have made a commitment to develop restorative justice, and put victims of crime and anti-social behaviour first.

Avon and Somerset Restorative Partnership aims to shape the future of Restorative Justice, delivering best practice to meet the needs of victims. To find out more about this and the vision for Avon and Somerset please click here.

To find out more about Somerset Community Justice Partnership click here.

Posted on Friday 24th April 2015
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