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Restorative Cleveland have been awarded a Howard League Community Award, under the category of Restorative Approaches, by The Howard League for Penal Reform. Restorative Cleveland have been recognised for their success in delivering restorative practice across Cleveland and for their partnership approach to promoting the use of RJ and the right of victims’ to receive this.
Restorative Cleveland forms part of Safe in Tees Valley; commissioned by the Cleveland Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner. Support can be accessed at various points during an individual’s journey throughout the Criminal Justice System; enabling broader opportunities to positively shape recovery, affect change and address the harm caused by crime. Referrals are welcomed from both victim and offender-initiated sources, with the focus of all work undertaken being victim-led. Co-location with the Victim Care & Advice Service (VCAS), enables Restorative Cleveland to offer a more integrated and coordinated model of victim care, safeguarding and informed offender risk-management. Liaison with local partners aims to divert individuals from the CJS, offering an alternative means of addressing offending behaviour and supporting those affected by crime.
The National RJ Charity, ‘Why Me?’ have upheld the partnership work undertaken by Restorative Cleveland with regional agencies, as being “outstanding,” as it brings together professionals to come up with creative solutions about diverting people from getting criminal records, reducing reoffending and helping victims to recover from the impact of crime. This approach considers the needs of the whole person, victim, offender, and how the community is affected, and comes up with a personalised solution in each case.
This is illustrated by work undertaken with the Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner and Stagecoach, in addressing incidents of hate crime and raising awareness of available support for anyone who has been the victim of crime. Stagecoach recently launched 80 new buses in Cleveland, all of which included coving promoting the right to safe travel, how to report any incidents of concern and available victim services.
Joanne Hodgkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Safe in Tees Valley said: “Safe in Tees Valley are proud to uphold the message, that hate crime and antisocial behaviour should, and will not, be tolerated in our communities. We believe that Cleveland should be safe and inclusive place for all members of the community, and that should extend to the right to safely access and share the supportive services available.”
Each year, the Howard League award those services delivering good practice within the Criminal Justice System. Restorative Cleveland are delighted to be the winners of this year’s award and will continue to dedicate their efforts into restorative justice and desistance from crime. Becky Childs, Restorative Cleveland Service Manager, said: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded a Community Award by the Howard League. Our aim is to broaden the offer of RJ to those affected by crime, and those responsible for having perpetrated this. RJ should be accessible to all and the ability to be creative and innovative in our delivery of restorative practice is paramount in enabling victims to have their voice heard, in the most meaningful and impactive way. This award acknowledges the good practice upheld in Cleveland in promoting and delivering RJ and we are look forward to continuing to offer a high-quality service within Cleveland.”