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Expand neighbourhood justice panels across Dorset

Restorative Justice (RJ) is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of victims and offenders, letting victims tell offenders the real impact of their crime.

RJ holds offenders, whether young people or adults, directly accountable to their victims and can bring them together in a facilitated meeting. It can be used at any stage of a crime and for any type of crime, but each case must be looked at in detail to assess the risks involved in holding these meetings.

For RJ to take place, the offender must have accepted responsibility, and all participation is voluntary.

During his first term of office, the PCC funded Neighbourhood Justice Panel pilot schemes in West Dorset and Poole to implement RJ. A commitment for his second term was to work with partners to expand this to cover the rest of Dorset.

This commitment is inextricably linked with another pledge to expand the use of RJ meetings, and the desire to expand this approach to include victims and convicted offenders in prison.

This has culminated in the launch of the pan-Dorset Restorative Dorset Service in September 2017, funded for three years by the PCC.

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