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Letter to Parliament: THE VICTIMS AND PRISONERS BILL

Lord Bellamy

House of Lords London

SW1A 0PW

Delivered by email & mail

13rd February 2024

Dear Lord Bellamy,

I am writing to you about the positioning of the government on restorative justice and the Victims and Prisoners Bill. We understand from your statement during the debate on the 31st January that the government wishes for restorative justice not to be mentioned on the face of the bill, but to remain in the Victims Code.

The RJ4AllI International Institute is leading on a joint letter signed by community leaders, NGOs and victims aiming to demonstrate why Restorative Justice needs to be elevated within the Victims & Prisoners Bill.

1)  Restorative Justice needs to be under enforceable legislation and on the face of the bill to avoid the pitfalls experienced up to now under the Victims Code.

2)  Restorative Justice is also to be differentiated from Victims’ Services, due to its systemic nature encompassing victims, offenders, and the community, and finally in light of its critical impact on reducing reoffending.

This is further detailed in the this brief.

As you noticed during the debate, the amendments to bring restorative justice to the face of the bill witnessed substantial cross-party support from key figures, including Baroness Bennett, Lord Garnier, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Lord Blunkett, Baroness Gohir, Baroness Newlove, and Baroness Hamwee. The name of our organisation was mentioned, and we also received support from Baroness Chakrabarti and Baroness Brinton. Their collective endorsement signifies a united commitment to advancing the cause of restorative justice.

 

Building on the above, RJ4All will continue to collect support through a Joint Advocacy Letter, along with a petition, with organisations signing both every day.

In light of the non-partisan nature of restorative justice and the previously tabled amendments, RJ4All would be keen to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the above, and provide you with objective expertise on the topic and its intricacies with the various legislations in place. If you were able to provide us with dates and times which would be suitable for you to meet, we would be incredibly grateful.

I remain available for any questions you may have, and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

Dr Theo Gavrielides

Founder & Director
Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All) http://www.rj4all.org/

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