Question to the Ministry of Justice:
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress he has made on establishing a pilot programme to understand where there are gaps in provision of restorative justice.
We are committed to supporting restorative justice as a way to help victims cope and, as far as possible, recover from the impact of crime. That is why, under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (‘the Victims’ Code’), all adult victims must be told about the option of restorative justice and how to access it. We also provide Police and Crime Commissioners with grant funding for victim support services, including restorative justice services. They are best placed to assess local need and commission services based on the needs of the population in the local area. Restorative justice services should be targeted to the most appropriate cases, where we have clear evidence for the benefits of that approach and should only take place when both the victim and the offender agree, and it is considered safe.
HMPPS has work underway to look at how to better support MoJ funded restorative justice. This work is aimed at identifying the factors supporting quality practice and to test effective, evidence-based access to, and delivery of RJ services. HMPPS will also work with PCC areas to improve referrals to RJ services. Once complete HMPPS will share the lessons learned more widely.
We do not currently plan to publish a restorative justice action plan because it is not clear that this is necessary or an appropriate fit with the existing activity to improve the consistent and targeted provision of restorative justice services at a local level.