Restorative Justice and Victims > Victim Liaison Officers
of victim liaison officer is varied and specific to
each individual and their needs. After a young
person is sentenced at court or has received a final
warning the victim liaison officer would contact the
victim by sending a letter and then making a follow
up phone call to arrange a home visit.
At the home visit the court order the young person has been given will be discussed with the victim to ensure they understand fully what the young person will be doing throughout their order and how they can be involved in the process. They will be offered support and if they require further emotional help, the VLO can refer the individual onto other agencies.
The VLO ensures that the victim is given all options available to make an informed decision on what they would like to get out of the process. Often, this would mean the victim liaison officer takes and supports the victim through a youth offender panel where they would meet face to face with the young person to discuss the offence in a safe, neutral environment. If the victim cannot attend the panel, the victim liaison officer can facilitate a direct mediation between the young person and the victim with a second mediator, again in a safe, neutral environment.
If the victim does not wish to meet the young person face to face then the VLO can facilitate an indirect mediation between the two parties. Indirect mediation can take place at the young person’s panel where the VLO takes a victim impact statement for the young person to hear and potentially answer questions the victim has for them. Other indirect ways of communicating are through letters. Part of a young persons order can incorporate a letter of explanation that will be checked and forwarded onto the victim via the VLO. If the victim wishes to write back to the young person then this is a possibility also.
We always strive to improve our performance and better the service we give to victims.
Written feedback is always sought to try and help achieve this. The document below is just such a feedback completed by the security manager of a local store. It was completed following a direct mediation session between him and a young person who had stolen property from the store - the young person used this as an opportunity not only to account for their actions but to personally apologise to the manager - see the document here
In May 2010, a young person was convicted of theft from a shop and criminal damage. The latter offence involved the young person daubing offensive graffiti on a house wall. Having received a Referral Order from the local Youth Court, the young person responsible in agreement with the house owner carried out several supervised sessions at the address to fully repaint the wall leaving it as good as new.
The owner’s satisfaction can be seen in the VLO feedback and the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures above show the quality of the work done. Subsequent to this direct reparation the young person carried out a number of community/indirect sessions at the Age UK charity shop to address the shop theft matters.”
Click here to see a Case Study on a reparation project in Netherthong