Leicestershire has been recognised for its high-quality restorative justice work by the national body set up to monitor standards.
Restorative Solutions CIC, which is contracted to deliver restorative justice across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as part of Victim First, has been awarded the Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) by the Restorative Justice Council (RJC).
The award, which is the highest benchmark for quality in the industry, recognises the delivery of good quality, safe and sustainable restorative justice services.
Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner Lord Willy Bach said: "Restorative Justice is the unsung hero of the Criminal Justice System, probably because there remains a lack of awareness regarding what it actually does.
"This Quality Mark is a seal of approval for restorative justice services in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and I hope it will boost public awareness and confidence in this valuable service which helps victims to move forward with their lives in a positive way.
"Victims are the pivotal point of everything we do and I'm pleased to see this verification of a good service which meets these tough national standards. I would like to congratulate the whole team for their continued tenacity and dedication."
The Restorative Service Quality Mark involves a rigorous assessment process designed to ensure people harmed by crime and conflict achieve a safe and effective service that meets their needs.
Organisations applying for the award must show evidence of consistently meeting criteria across six Restorative Service Standards.
Restorative justice services help victims of crime seek redress and closure for their experiences to enable them to cope and move on.
The service gives victims more involvement in the justice process, allows them a greater role in what happens to an offender and facilitates face-to-face meetings with an offender to enhance recovery.
It is also designed to help offenders take responsibility for their actions and to face up to the consequences by understanding the impact their offending has had on a victim.
Restorative Solutions CIC is sub-contracted by social enterprise Catch 22 which was commissioned to deliver victims services across the county under the Victim First model.
John Stevenson, Restorative Solutions' Service Delivery Manager for Leicestershire, said:
"Gaining the RSQM is a real achievement for all of our dedicated staff and volunteers who go above and beyond to support victims through the restorative justice process. We work with a range of commissioners across the country and this award demonstrates to them that we deliver a high-quality service.
"Completing the RSQM presented a real opportunity for us to highlight our existing work while also offering us the challenge we needed to improve our service further through the productive feedback we received from our assessor and the RJC throughout the process."
The six Restorative Service Standards are based around six themes including leadership, strategy, policies and plans, working together, people, training and support, service delivery and users and monitoring, evaluation and performance improvement.
Jon Collins, the RJC's chief executive, said: "I would like to congratulate Restorative Solutions, for successfully completing the RSQM. This is evidence of their ongoing commitment to delivering the highest standards in restorative practice."
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 25th January 2017