Restorative justice conferencing for serious driving offences
This project aimed to better meet the needs of victims of crime and to demonstrate the potential for improved justice system responses in the aftermath of crime.
Drawing on local and international research and existing programs, the CIJ developed a restorative justice conferencing program to support victims of motor vehicle collisions, including family members of people who have died, to have a safe, respectful dialogue with offenders, supported by a neutral facilitator.
This conferencing program was piloted, with 15 referrals accepted for restorative justice processes, including conferencing in some cases.
In this program, conferencing operated as an alternative and an adjunct to criminal justice processes, and was available in matters including where charges were not laid, matters did not precede to trial, and pre and post-sentencing. The pilot received overwhelming support from stakeholders including Victoria Police, the Office of Public Prosecutions, those who work directly with victims of crime, and victims themselves.
The delivery of this restorative justice program provides a model for expansion across Victoria, to other categories of offences, victims and offenders.
A final report on the project, including a program evaluation is due to be released in October 2019.