It’s been over four months since Monedo Man crashed into me and my friend. To have one’s life nearly whisked away through another’s stupidity has been hard to swallow, and in a parallel universe I wouldn’t be here to write this blog. Determined not to be consumed by bitterness and hatred – the bloke did run away from the scene of the crime after all – I have been thinking about restorative justice and my part to play in his punishment.
Restorative justice enables the victim to tell the perpetrator the impact of their crime, to ask questions and (hopefully) receive an apology. It is based on the theory that the crime was against the individual or community rather than the state.
Not that it’s about money, but research has shown the RJ would likely lead to a net benefit of over £1billion over 10 years. A report from the Restorative Justice council found :
“That diverting young offenders from community orders to a pre-court restorative justice conferencing scheme would produce a life time saving to society of almost £275 million (£7,050 per offender). The cost of implementing the scheme would be paid back in the first year and during the course of two parliaments (10 years) society would benefit by over £1billion.”
I first heard about it while listening to Radio 4. It was very enlightening and decided that if I was a victim of crime, then I would explore this idea. I didn’t realise I would have to seriously consider this idea. I want this man to take responsibly for his actions, and stop him from doing it again. The Restorative Justice Council claims there is a reduction of re-offending of 27%.
It has got me thinking. I don’t believe that locking someone up in jail is the only punishment available.Our jails are already full and the recent riots has pushed the capacity to breaking point. Boris Johnson told the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee that three quarters of those arrested in the British riots had criminal records and blamed the UK justice system for not turning offenders away from crime.
The punishment should fit the crime. So in the case of the rioters, they should be tasked to clean up the areas that they damaged and meet the people whose homes and businesses they set alight.
Although I have no idea if a) I can take part in restorative justice, and b) that I will get a sincere apology from Monedo Man, I want to stop this man from committing a similar crime. After all, he may not be so lucky next time.