Lizzie Nelson is Director of the Restorative Justice Council (RJC), the independent membership body in England and Wales for restorative practice. Lizzie worked in the House of Commons, the European Parliament and in the voluntary sector, before joining the Home Office, where she worked on a wide range of policy areas, including leading the Restorative Justice Policy Team (2003-06), responsible for the Government’s strategy on Restorative Justice, and providing policy oversight of the RJ research programme. Lizzie became Director of the Restorative Justice Council (restorativejustice.org.uk) in January 2010. The RJC is an independent charity, funded by its members and grant making trusts, and is responsible for promoting, developing and assuring quality restorative practice. It promotes the use of restorative practice across criminal justice, schools, care homes and in the community. The RJC helps develop quality restorative services through the website, events, information, advice and consultancy. It assures the quality of restorative practice through their Trainers Code and Register of Training Providers, through the development of national practice standards and guidance, and the new RJC Practitioner Register, launched with Ministry of Justice support in September 2011.
- Legislation introducing restorative justice for victims of adult offenders in England and Wales announced
- from Lizzie Nelson: New legislation for restorative justice with adult offenders and their victims will be introduced through an amendment to the Crime and Courts Bill. The new clauses will allow the Courts to defer at the pre-sentence stage in order for the victim and offender to be offered restorative justice at the earliest opportunity. This comes as part of the Government’s response to the Punishment and Reform; effective community sentences consultation, published today.
- Prison Reform Trust poll finding: 88% support restorative justice after the riots
- by Lizzie Nelson. In 1998 the British Crime Survey found that 41% of victims said they would agree to meet the offender, if this was offered to them, and 58% would accept reparation from the offender. In September this year, following the riots that took place across England in August 2011, an ICM poll, commissioned by the Prison Reform Trust (www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk<http://www.prisonreformtrust.org.uk>) found that 88% of the public thought victims of crime should have the right to tell offenders the impact of their crime; 94% believe offenders should make amends by doing unpaid work in the community; and 71% believe the victim should have a say in how the offender should make amends for the harm they have caused.
- Practitioner Register launched in UK
- by Lizzie Nelson The Restorative Justice Council (RJC) has launched a new Practitioner Register. This has been a long time in coming – the RJC worked since 2004 on Best Practice Guidance, which finally in 2010 was turned into National Occupational Standards (these exist across all sectors in the UK, so are a benchmark of skills and knowledge). Based on this we have now been able to develop Practitioner Registration. Pracititioners will be able to register with the RJC either by taking an award based on the National Occupational Standards (an award that assesses both their knowledge and their skills on the job) or by providing direct evidence to us that their practice meets the National Occupational Standards (a kind of grandfathering system, if that means anything to you!).