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Victim services

Elizabeth’s experience of restorative justice

A portrait of a young woman looking directly at the camera.

Richard and his wife Sally killed their friend, Max, following an argument between them. They were each sentenced to ten years in custody. In the spring of 2019, Catch22’s Victim Service staff met Max’s wife, Elizabeth.

She wanted to use restorative justice, where a meeting between the victim and the offender is organised, as a way of dealing with the aftermath of the crime. We facilitated a restorative justice conference in prison between Richard and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was able to ask questions and tell Richard the impact the offence had on her and her children and listen to Richard’s responses.

“Restorative justice is not as hard as you would think it would be; it’s the wait that is the hardest part. Since taking part in restorative justice, my anxiety has reduced, and I feel that a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

“If someone asked me about restorative justice, I would tell them there are a million positives and I can’t think of any negatives.”