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Reparation by Offenders

Volume 465: debated on Tuesday 23 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the contribution that structured volunteering can make to restorative justice; and if he will make a statement. (160223)

No specific, formal assessment has been made of the contribution that volunteering can make to restorative justice but we encourage partnership working in this area and many restorative justice schemes engage the services of the voluntary sector. For example, Youth Offending Panels are made up of trained volunteers from the local community and design intervention programmes for juveniles referred from youth courts. A number of voluntary sector providers are partners in schemes delivering adult restorative justice and there are local initiatives such as the Chard and Ilminster Community Justice Panel, which is made up of local, trained volunteers and uses restorative justice processes to deliver Acceptable Behaviour Contracts for cases involving minor offences that do not go to court.

The main restorative justice voluntary sector and practitioner organisations were among those who helped to develop “Best Practice Guidance for Restorative Justice Practitioners”, which was published by the Home Office in December 2004 and now forms the basis of National Occupational Standards.