The Victims’ Commissioner’s Office is currently undertaking two reviews relating to how victims are treated within the criminal justice system. These reviews will be published later this year.
A Review of Restorative Justice: Part 2
In March 2016, the first of two reviews into restorative justice (RJ) was published. A question of quality: A review of restorative justice ‒ Part 1 – service providers highlighted what service providers said about the quality of RJ services available to victims. It found that the number of victims who had taken part in RJ was low compared to the number of individuals who became victims of crime. However, the relatively small number of participants enabled restorative justice service providers to tailor services to address victims’ needs.
The second part of the review into RJ will consider the victims’ experiences of RJ services. In this review, the team want to know what victims think compared to what providers said, in relation to the quality of their RJ experience.
By combining both parts of the review, it will allow the team to assess the quality of RJ according to service providers and victims of crime.
A Review into children’s entitlements under the Victims’ Code
The Victims’ Code was amended in December 2013 to included specific provision of entitlements for children and young people under 18 years of age.
Criminal justice agencies are required to provide the Ministry of Justice with information regarding how they will comply with the Victims’ Code, however to date there has been no specific study to investigate whether children are actually receiving their entitlements as set out in the Victims’ Code from the point of reporting a crime to the point of sentencing in court.
This review will aim to address this gap in the evidence and investigate whether children are receiving their entitlements as set out in the Victims’ Code, taking a closer look at how these entitlements are delivered and whether children are satisfied with their treatment in the criminal justice system. In turn, it is hoped that areas of good practice in provision of children’s entitlements will be identified and disseminated, as well as highlighting areas for improvement.