Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping is today inviting independent research companies to bid for a contract that will enable him to deliver enhanced restorative justice services across the county.
Deputy Commissioner Chris Cutland, who will lead the overall programme of work for the Commissioner on commissioning victims’ services, has launched a formal tendering process which will appoint an experienced researcher or consultancy agency to examine current restorative justice practice in Nottinghamshire and provide evidence on how the initiative can help heal victims’ experiences and reduce re-offending. The successful applicant will also help the Commissioner to devise a restorative justice strategy for the county and consult with victims and the public to gain their feedback on the possible sanctions that could be offered to offenders as part of a community resolution or conditional caution.
Restorative justice is a criminal justice practice which concentrates on rehabilitating offenders by reconciling them with the victims of their crimes so they can understand the impact of their offending. Victims can ask questions directly to the offender and receive an apology, both of which can aid their recovery.
Ms Cutland said: “Restorative justice is a very powerful tool and has the potential to break ingrained, negative patterns of behaviour. While it is not appropriate in every circumstance, it can provide closure for victims and help them move on.
“Imprisonment is not enough to deter the most prolific criminals and rehabilitation is really the only solution. Restorative justice brings emotion into offending and holds those responsible to account so they are forced to take responsibility for the actions – possibly for the first time.
“I’m very keen to strengthen the use of restorative justice in Nottinghamshire and this important piece of work will help us to understand how it can be used more effectively.”
Both the Commissioner and his Deputy want to see the expansion of preventative services in the county which help offenders turn their back on criminality and provide necessary support to victims. In his Police and Crime Plan 2013-18, the Commissioner has included a specific commitment to expand the use of restorative justice as part of these key strategic aims.
From next month, the Commissioner will receive ring-fenced funding to deliver restorative justice services and this will be followed by funding for commissioning victims’ support services from October 2014. The successful applicant for the research project will be expected to help deliver a new delivery model for future provision of restorative justice, advise on the likely demand for such services and advise and make recommendations on how victims’ services and restorative justice should work together to strengthen support for victims.
Mr Tipping held a multi-agency restorative justice summit in May last year to gain a better understanding of how the process was working. Since this event, a mapping exercise has taken place to assess current restorative justice services in the county which included a survey of schools to assess their understanding of the process. Mr Tipping wants the research project to expand on this and set out a strategy for how it could work in the future.
Research organisations have until March 28 to apply for the contract and the successful applicant will have until the end of May to complete the project. For more information on the tendering process visit http://www.nottinghamshire.pcc.police.uk/About-Us/Vacancies-and-Tenders/Tenders/Restorative-Practice-Tendering-Brief.aspx
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Posted on Monday 24th March 2014