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Youth Offending Unit scoop award

Published on:

23 November 2017

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Enfield Council’s Youth Offending Unit has scooped a prestigious award for using restorative justice to rehabilitate young offenders and help victims deal with the impact of crime.

  • Enfield Youth Offending Unit wins award for use of restorative justice
  • Enfield Council is committed to protecting residents and rehabilitating offenders 
  • One of just four teams in London to get award

Enfield Council’s Youth Offending Unit has scooped a prestigious award for using restorative justice to rehabilitate young offenders and help victims deal with the impact of crime.

The team received a Restorative Service Quality Mark from the Restorative Justice Council (RJC) and is one of just 31 Youth Offending Units among the 153 in the United Kingdom, and four in London, to receive the award.

Before presenting the award the RJC carries out a detailed review of an organisation and their practices and assess them against six standards: leadership; strategic and operational planning; collaborative working; supporting and developing people; service delivery and evaluating and improving.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services & Protection, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “We are delivering Restorative Justice to the highest standards and victims of crime and conflict in Enfield can be confident they are getting a safe, effective service that meets their needs and helps them recover from their ordeal.

Chris Straker, the RJC’s interim chief executive, said: “By successfully completing the RSQM, Enfield Youth Offending Unit has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest standards in restorative justice. I would like to congratulate the whole team on this achievement.”

Enfield's Youth Offending Unit is looking for members of the community to volunteer as Youth Offending Unit Panel Members. All volunteers will be fully trained and supported to become a Restorative Justice Facilitator. If you are interested, why not contact us for more information? You could make a real difference and become a volunteering Enfield Hero. Please email us .

Note for Editors Regarding Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice is defined as: “A process through which parties with a stake in a specific offence collectively resolve how to deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future”.

Restorative Justice can take the form of victim-offender mediation either through direct contact between the offender and victim or indirect communication involving third parties.

It can also involve restitution or reparation where this is agreed between offenders and their victims. Done well, it has the potential to change and improve the lives of both the victim and offender and help improve the community.
 
 It gives victims of a crime the opportunity to meet or communicate with the perpetrator to explain to them the impact that the crime had on them.

It empowers victims by giving them a voice and the ability to challenge the perpetrator and take back some control and gives them a far more active role in the criminal justice system.
 
 RJ ensures offenders are held to account for their offence and get to see the victim perspective and thus helps them to take responsibility and make reparation.
 
 Government research has demonstrated that RJ provides an 85% victim satisfaction rate, and a 14% reduction in the frequency of reoffending.
 
 For offenders the experience can be incredibly challenging as it confronts them with the impact of their crime on a personal level. For victims, meeting the person who has harmed them can be a huge step in moving forward and recovering from the impact of crime.
 
 RJ conferences, where a victim meets their offender, are led by a facilitator who supports and prepares the people taking part and ensures that the process is safe.
 
 Sometimes, when a face to face meeting is not the best way forward, the facilitator will arrange for the victim and offender to communicate via other mediums such as letters, recorded interviews or video.
 
 For any kind of communication to take place, the offender must have admitted to the crime, and both victim and offender must be willing to participate.
 
 Restorative Justice can be used as an intervention regarding any type of crime and at any stage of the criminal justice system, including being alongside a prison sentence. The Restorative Justice Council advocates the use of safe, high quality restorative justice wherever and whenever it is needed.

 Enfield Council relies on volunteers to take part in Youth Offending Unit Panels. For more information on volunteering in Enfield, visit the website