Meet the team
A message from our Chief Executive, Joanne Hodgkinson
“Safer Communities vision is to make our local communities safe, support victims of crime and create opportunities to change people’s lives for the better. Restorative Justice is an integral part of repairing the harm caused and key to the rehabilitation of those who have offended. Restorative Cleveland allows us to work in partnership to offer high quality restorative services, at key points where the opportunity for the victim and offender to communicate can be offered. It is an opportunity for the victim to seek answers to questions they have and help them in moving forward. It ensures offenders are held accountable and allows them to fully understand the true impact of their actions. We are extremely proud to be nationally recognised for providing high quality services”
A message from our Restorative Cleveland Service Manager, Becky Childs
“Restorative Justice (RJ) is an incredibly powerful interventionandwe are motivated to broaden the offer of RJ to those affected by crime, and those responsible for having causedthis. RJ should be accessible to alland the ability to be creative and responsivein our delivery of restorative practice is essential in enabling victims to have their voice heard, in the most meaningful and impactive way.”
A message from our Seconded Probation Officer, Mark Eddon
“My name is Mark Eddon, I am seconded to Restorative Cleveland from Durham Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (DTV CRC), who presently provide probation services between Durham and Teesside areas. This role is to aid, facilitate and promote Restorative Justice (RJ) within the local area since 2015.
My role, commencing in October 2019, has been to refresh myself with RJ facilitator training that I had previously undertaken and offer this to victims and offenders. Alongside this, to understand where RJ currently sits within local probation services provision and to bolster.
There are several strands or, opportunities for referrals within probation, that my role is key to accessing. Having that knowledge and awareness to see and open pathways and affording an availability for offenders at all points through their sentence is key, as I believe remorse and the urge to make reparation can come at any time on an offenders journey through the criminal justice system and it’s important that Restorative Cleveland is responsive to this.
I have worked for Probation for over 18 years now, across most, if not all, aspects of it. I have supervised those who have caused incredible harm to others and not always shown sorrow for their actions. No amount of offence focused work, in my opinion, ‘hits home’ as much as Restorative Justice interventions. Certainly, offence focused work can get offenders ‘up to the front door’ in terms of how their actions may have affected a victim or society generally. However, it’s not until you really unpack the ‘actual’ events and circumstances, the raw and reflective emotions of all directly affected parties and the impacts that any criminal offence can cause; can you truly take all parties together, ‘past the front door, into the living room and out into the back garden.’
I am profoundly staggered how resilient and forgiving some victims can be. I have listened to the extent of how an offender has affected an individual. Victims can gain some control going through this process and it can be powerful, as they seek answers to the questions and closure, they crave. This has to be nurtured, a significant amount of research, consideration, guidance and support is offered to both parties; before, during and after –it’s not as simple as asking each other to shake hands!
I was told many years ago, that by the time an offence goes through court process, there can be up to 10 or more versions of what happened; ranging from victim, offender, cctv, witness statements, interviews, prosecution paperwork, evidence, exhibits, solicitors, barrister perspectives and needless to say, reams of paper! However, nothing really covers a key issue, “WHY?” Restorative Justice – can do just that”
Restorative Cleveland is a partnership of the following organisations:
Learn more about our restorative practice, undertaken alongside a selection of our fantastic partners here.
Why Me? are a national charity, who champion for greater access for victims of crime to Restorative Justice (RJ) throughout England and Wales. In addition to campaigning for the increased use of restorative practice, Why Me? also run their own accredited RJ Service. Learn more about Why Me? here
We have joined up with Why Me? to promote accessibility to, and the use of RJ, in addressing incidents of hate crime. As partners, we have been able to raise awareness around hate crime, its impact upon our local communities and the right of victims to access restorative interventions, if they choose to do so. We were delighted to have been nominated by Why Me? to receive a Howard League Community Award in 2019, in recognition of our work. You can read more about the Award and restorative practice examples throughout our website. We especially hope you will find Ann-Marie’s story, as a victim of learning disability hate crime, as inspiring and heart-warming as we did. For us, Ann-Marie encapsulates the real power of RJ in addressing hate crime and remains a catalyst in our continued partnership working
Victim Care & Advice Service(VCAS).
In partnership with VCAS, we are committed to offering integrated and responsive victim services. Support can be accessed at various points during an individual’s journey throughout the Criminal Justice System (CJS); offering greater opportunity to positively shape recovery, affect change and address the harm caused by crime. Paramount in offering individualised care, is the shared aim to support victims in having their needs met and their voices heard. The co-location of both services, within the central hub of Safer Communities, enables a more integrated and coordinated model of victim care, safeguarding and informed offender risk-management. Continued commitment to the support and empowerment of victims, in their recovery from crime, is strongly upheld and pertinent in effectively tackling crime.
Research indicates victims of hate crime do not want to support a prosecution but may prefer an opportunity to address the underlying attitudes and beliefs of responsible offenders. Inspired by national research, feedback has been sought from service users and partners, in shaping tailored restorative practice in addressing incidents of hate crime. Acknowledging the value of partnership working in using RJ to promote the offer of RJ to victims of hate crime, Kay Attle from Hart Gables’ noted how “Restorative Cleveland and the Victim Care & Advice Service were instrumental in supporting our Hate Crime event” and how the inputs given “highlighted why these awareness-raising events are so important.”
Middlesbrough Football Club (MFC) Foundation.
Following areally productive meeting with Keith Robson from the MFC Foundation and Rob Gallazi from Safer Communities Youth Service, we continue to explore the ways in which we can effectively work together, to best meet the needs of young people and all members of our local communities.