Last month I attended a national awards ceremony in London with the Sussex Restorative Justice partnership (SRJP) and was delighted when they won an award for their outstanding work in Sussex.
Restorative Justice is a voluntary process facilitated by qualified practitioners, bringing together a victim and offender with the aim of repairing some of the harm caused by crime. It is a very effective process giving the victim back some control as well as the opportunity to show the offender the impact of their crime.
There are around 25 organisations in the partnership, which is led by Strategic Restorative Justice Manager John Willett who is based in my office in Lewes. Together they won the “Communities Award” against some very impressive competition. The award recognised their unique “victim-led” approach and the implementation of an innovative cloud-based case management system.
John said: “It’s a great testament to what can be achieved by collaboration.”
The focus on helping victims to cope and recover is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. In my second term in office I want to ensure that a victim’s confidence in and satisfaction with the criminal justice system continues to improve.
If you would like to see a restorative justice conference in action watch www.safespacesussex.org.uk/RJ
“Dedicated staff and volunteers manage and develop cases which can be referred from a number of agencies; and from victims directly. RJ is a multi-agency activity which involves many agencies communicating and exchanging information. In September 2014 when I initiated the RJ Programme in Sussex, E-CINS was the natural IT Case Management platform to enable the service to be able to function efficiently. It dispenses with the need to keep spread sheets and enables direct tasking by managers and coordinators’. The real beauty of ECINS is that it is cloud based and accessible from any computer, facilitating the smooth flow of information and cases to be developed quickly, particularly when caseloads are high.
“The Sussex RJ Partnership which I chair, received a national award in April 2016 by Restorative Practice UK, for our services delivered to communities and more recently in June 2016, we gained the Restorative Services Quality Mark (RSQM) from the Restorative Justice Council (RJC); which is a national accreditation demonstrating that our service has been independently assessed against the national standards set by the RJC. This quality mark enables victims to be assured that the service they will be receiving is to the national standards. I am sure that by using ECINS as our case management system it has assisted to help professionalise RJ in Sussex and enabled communities to benefit from the improved services.”
John Willett, Strategic RJ Manager, Office of the Sussex PCC