Sean* has been in and out of prison since childhood and has struggled with substance misuse. Whilst with friends, Sean saw what he believed was an unattended handbag, he proceeded to steal the bag with the owner present. When he was 30, he received a custodial sentence for this robbery.

During this period in prison, Sean wanted to make a commitment to change the habits he had entrenched in his life. He found sobriety hard to maintain once released from prison and turned to a friend at his Church for help; they supported Sean to enquire about Restorative Justice with Resolve West.

Sean was able to answer the victims questions through an exchange of Restorative Letters. This provided Sean with a chance to sit down and address the consequences of the incident. He was also able to apologise to the person he had harmed, giving him the space to forgive himself in addition to receiving forgiveness from the victim. 

I just wanted to apologise for my behaviour and that I would never be a threat to her ever again. It really broke my heart. I thought about the victim, I thought about the impact, and it touched me. I knew I needed to make amends and say sorry.

Restorative justice is something that I chose to do to change my life, to grow, to face up to my responsibilities. She definitely helped me with the letter she sent me. I didn’t beat myself up anymore. I made peace with myself, and I made peace with the victim over it. It’s done

*Names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.