A groundbreaking Prison Radio programme bringing crime victims face to face with offenders is behind a BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The Victim’s Voice’, broadcast tonight.
Earlier this year a restorative justice based programme produced for Prison Service Radio, a national radio station for prisoners, received a coveted Gold Sony Radio Academy Award. BBC Radio 4 brings a reworking of this to a national audience as psychologist Professor Tanya Byron invites a group of crime victims into HMP Brixton to meet and challenge offenders serving sentences for similar offences.
Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt said:
‘We are working to increase the use of restorative justice so more victims can have the opportunity to explain the impact of crime on their lives. With the benefit of over £1m of new money to train staff and volunteers in probation trusts, prisons and youth offending teams we are helping to ensure more of these initiatives are available for victims who want them.’
Research suggests that the vast majority of victims -around 85 per cent- who participate in Restorative Justice schemes feel they have benefited from the experience. It can also be an effective part of reducing reoffending by making criminals see for themselves the consequences of their actions and to make amends.
The Victims Voice is broadcast tonight on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm.