I've just started volunteering for Victim Support, a fantastic organisation which offers free emotional and practical support to victims of crime.
Through my role at Victim Support, I've learnt about an initiative called restorative justice. This is an approach to justice which allows the victim of a crime to have a dialogue with the perpetrator, where the perpetrator is encouraged to take responsibility for their actions. The research shows that participating in restorative justice means the risk of the perpetrator re offending is greatly reduced, by 27%, and also the victim is provided with a tangible platform for closure.
Before my interview at Victim Support, I did some research and came across this amazing radio show which the charity produced with the Prison Radio Association. In the show three current residents of Brixton prison meet with three victims of crime to discuss their experiences. their traumas, and their pain. As you can imagine there is tremendous bravery and courage in the programme, its incredibly awe inspiring. Here is the link to the radio programme, it's called Face to Face.
Around the same time as starting with Victim Support, I watched a really interesting TV programme on Channel 4 called Lifers, which also contained the theme of restorative justice. It was a documentary about residents at Gartree prison in Leicestershire, home to Europe's largest population of life-sentenced prisoners. The experiences of the prisoners ranged from those who seemed to feel little remorse, to others who regret their crime almost every hour of every day. What really came through to me in the programme was the major influence the forensic psychologists had on any possible releases or transfers for the inmates. The inmates stories are varied and horrific at times, but certainly its an intriguing insight into the minds of people who just snapped one day with tragic consequences. Here is the link to the TV programme: Lifers TV
Some serious stuff but definitely worth taking a look.
Till next month