A Nottingham City Council team that brings offenders and their victims together has been praised for its work.
The Youth Offending Team (YOT) is using ‘restorative justice’ to help young people who commit crime to make amends in an effort to repair the damage done and find a positive way forward.
Research shows that restorative practice delivers better outcomes for young people across schools, care, community and the Criminal Justice System. It has the potential to positively change the lives of young people and others.
Nottingham’s YOT has been using restorative justice as part of its work to prevent offending and reduce re-offending by children and young people.
The YOT has now been awarded the Restorative Justice Council’s Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM), which recognises professionalism and high standards of practice.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Years and Early Intervention, said: “I am so proud of the Youth Offending Team and delighted that the hard work and dedication has been recognised.
“We could not wish for a better endorsement for the service. The RSQM is validation of the work the team have been doing and will reassure people who come to us that they will receive a safe and quality service.
“The team has worked very hard to achieve the RSQM, but it has been a very worthwhile exercise. The prestigious quality mark was is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the YOT in this area.”
Only 33 organisations from sectors that include criminal justice, education and care, have now achieved the RSQM. Achieving the quality mark means that Nottingham’s YOT is able to prove it provides a safe and effective restorative service and meets the six Restorative Service Standards.
As well as helping victims overcome the effects of crime, restorative justice is essential to preventing re-offending. It supports people who have come into contact with conflict in the community with a view to give victims a voice and improve the chances of rehabilitation.
It also provides an opportunity for victims to tell offenders the impact of their crime and for offenders to make amends.
The RSQM is regarded as the pinnacle within the restorative justice field.
Jon Collins, the RJC’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted that Nottingham City Youth Offending Team Restorative Justice Service has achieved the RSQM. This is a recognition of the excellent quality of service they provide for young offenders and their victims, who can be confident that they will be taking part in a safe and effective restorative justice process.”
Achievement of the quality mark in Nottingham culminated nearly a year of activity that involved initially registering for the RSQM in April 2015.