The Learning & Skills Service in Darlington became approved to offer our L4 Diploma in Restorative Practice back in 2017 to raise the benchmark of quality and assurance whilst also providing a service for the local community, not only to benefit prisoners and their victims but the community itself. They have recently successfully had their first learner complete the training course early, with their fellow cohorts expected to complete their training in January 2020.
The centre was already delivering training, however the L4 diploma ensured they met the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) accreditation which indicates the standard of professionalism within the sector. In order to deliver this qualification, we worked with them to become an approved SFJ Awards centre, which incidentally made them the first centre in England to deliver the L4 diploma!
What is restorative justice and what are the benefits?
Restorative justice brings those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. The centre has already started to see the benefits from offering the L4 diploma with volunteers able to learn new skills and additionally the calibre of applicants has risen. However, the real benefits of restorative justice are those to the prisoners and victims, the centre has seen first-hand the positive effects of this:
- 57% of those taken part in restorative justice have not reoffended since
- 28% of prisoners reduced reoffending since going through restorative justice
- 85% overall reduction
- £1,006 direct saving for every case referred
The statistics above speak for themselves, however with the rising costs of crime across the justice system, maybe restorative justice needs to be considered more widely.
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