Northamptonshire Youth Offending Service

There are a wide range of approaches that fit within Restorative Practice.  When an offence has been committed, a Restorative Justice approach could involve one or more of the following things:

  • The young person writing a letter of apology/explanation that the victim has agreed to accept.
  • The young person undertaking some work in the community for a charity or cause that the victim has chosen
  • The young person undertaking some work directly for the victim to repair the harm they did.
  • Shuttle mediation, where the victim and the young person don’t have to meet, but the victim can get answers to particular questions.  This might mean a worker ‘shuttling’ between them, passing messages, or it might be done with audio recordings.
  • Informal or formal face to face meetings, including Restorative Conferencing.

The important thing to remember is that nothing can happen without the permission of all of the people involved – no-one can be made to do Restorative Justice!

Restorative Justice can take place with individual victims, with groups of people, within communities or organisations and with other agencies. NYOS has agreements with the Police and the Fire Service about how they will help us deliver Restorative Approaches. 

NYOS has workers who are fully trained in delivering Restorative Justice approaches in all of these ways, and has a number of staff who are also trained to train others in restorative skills.  All of our trainers are bound by the Restorative Justice Council's Code of Practice for Trainers and Training Organisations.


NYOS has successfully applied for the Restorative Services Quality Mark (RSQM).  This is a new scheme from the Restorative Justice Council which involves a review of all the services and processes used.  They are assessed against the Restorative Service Standards indicators, ensuring that they are both met and able to be sustained.  This means that service users, senior managers and commissioners can be confident that high quality services are provided. 

Restorative Practices are a wider approach – rather than waiting for something to go wrong and needing to be repaired, restorative practices try to prevent things going wrong in the first place.  This means paying attention to relationships and the ways in which people work together to try to prevent difficulties.  NYOS is working towards becoming a fully restorative organisation.