About Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service
“We believe in equal restoration for victims and offenders”
Ray Fishbourne, Chair TVRJS Steering Group
Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service (TVRJS) is at the leading edge of Restorative Justice in the UK and is part of a registered charity, the Thames Valley Partnership (TVP).
Established in 2001, originally as part of the Justice Research Consortium, TVRJS works collaboratively with statutory and voluntary partner agencies at the forefront of research, development and delivery of adult restorative justice in England and Wales. We work at any stages with all points of the Criminal Justice System both within the Thames Valley area and beyond. Our status as an internationally-recognised centre of excellent practice is based on our wealth of experience and expertise.
Thames Valley Partnership became the lead agency in the collaboration in 2011, when the governance and management of TVRJS was transferred from the Thames Valley Probation Service.
The History of Restorative Justice – and TVRJS’s role
TVRJS played a crucial role in the development of restorative justice in the UK by participating in groundbreaking research between 2001 and 2005. The research was based on work undertaken in Australia in the 1990’s, which demonstrated the effectiveness of reducing re-offending amongst violent offenders.
The UK research, published by the Ministry of Justice in 2008, demonstrated the effectiveness of restorative justice using random controlled trials. Those cases involving face-to-face meetings between victims, offenders, their families, friends and supporters led to increased satisfaction for victims and reduced re-offending for offenders when compared to those allocated to a control group which did not participate in restorative justice. In addition the research produced evidence of reduced symptoms of post traumatic disorder in victims of more serious crimes and significant cost savings to the justice system as a result of reduced re-offending.
This research has influenced Government policy, which now supports the delivery of restorative justice at all points in the Criminal Justice Process and has amended the Victims Code to ensure that victims are made aware of the availability of restorative justice as a means of addressing the harm they have experienced.
TVRJS continue to apply and develop the model of restorative justice, which proved to be so effective during the research, so as to meet the needs of victims and offenders in Thames Valley.
The Partnership was one of the first organisations in the UK to be awarded the Restorative Justice Council’s Restorative Service Quality Mark (RSQM) – reassurance that victims and offenders can have confidence in the quality of service offered. You can view a short video explaining the RSQM on the RJC website.
“I think TVRJS truly are a national leader in restorative justice practice and it has been a privilege to work on this RSQM assessment. I have learnt a lot and am humbled by the quality, enthusiasm and evidenced debate that I have seen and heard from this organisation and its service.”
Source: The Restorative Justice Council (RJC), awarding body and RSQM assessor.
A recipient of the Howard’s League’s prestigious Community Sentence Award in 2010, Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service is justifiably proud of its track record within the discipline. Launched in 2005, the Howard League for Penal Reform awards are for the country’s most successful community programmes. These annual awards celebrate best practice in the delivery of community sentences and champion the cutting edge of the criminal justice system.
The creation of a nationally recognised centre of excellence for the provision of restorative justice practice, consultancy and training.
Our service delivery mission
To transform the lives of victims, offenders and communities by increasing awareness, victim well- being and satisfaction with the justice process and outcomes, reducing re-offending and increasing public confidence in criminal justice.
Our consultancy and training mission
To promote best practice within and beyond Thames Valley through commissioned consultancy and training provision.
Our service delivery, consultancy and training offer is underpinned by values and principles that are consistent with our charitable status and with quality Restorative Justice.
Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service is committed to
- its vision of restorative justice interventions as a process for repairing harm, empowering victims and reducing re-offending
- advocating a system of justice that puts the availability of high quality restorative justice practices firmly at its centre, for all victims of crime
- its role as thought and practice leader within the discipline
- sharing knowledge and understanding of restorative justice for the benefit of all
- delivering a first class, cost effective restorative practices service
- working with fully-qualified, talented, experienced and skilled practitioners of restorative justice, in order to deliver its service
- delivering restorative practice training to key organisations – and individuals – to develop capability, enhance the delivery and accessibility of restorative practices across the UK
The Thames Valley Restorative Justice Service has as its centre a belief in a sense of fairness and of inclusion.