Lord McNally said restorative justice was 'not a soft option', after visiting a probation trust and a prison in Norwich.
Restorative justice allows a victim of a crime and the offender to meet face-to-face, enabling both of them to play a part in finding a positive way forward. The practice, already being used across England and Wales, can empower victims and communities to come to terms with their trauma and may also help to reduce crime by making offenders understand the impact of their actions.
Lord McNally said the government would work with Youth Offending Teams and Probation and Prison Services to set out guidance and minimum standards for developing more and better restorative justice practices.
Speaking afterwards at the Norfolk Ecumenical Criminal Justice Forum, Lord McNally said: ‘Offenders find the process demanding and tough. We require offenders to take an active role in repairing harm, acknowledging the impact of what they’ve done and facing up to the consequences.’
He added: ‘We also want to work with sentencers to improve the advice they get about how they might take restorative justice into consideration in court, through pre-sentence reports and victim personal statements.