Many surveys (for example Shapland et al. 2007 )have found that the great majority of victims who have experienced a restorative process found it helpful, enabling them to tell the offender the effects of his or her actions, and ask for answers to questions, and the satisfaction rate is much higher than when the cases went to court (although it has to be remembered that cases are only referred to mediation when the accused admits being involved in the offence).

Since so many victims benefit from it, a restorative process should be offered to all victims, at any stage of the process , which is unfortunately not the case in the United Kingdom.  This requires the availability of restorative justice services throughout the country, which will be considered in the next section. 

There should be general public awareness of this;  victims and offenders in particular should have the process explained to them; and all concerned should be aware of it:  criminal justice personnel, police, lawyers, judges and social workers.  Awareness of restorative methods should start in schools , and these Recommendations should themselves be widely disseminated , and translated into all languages of the Council of Europe, where this has not already been done

From "Restorative justice: Victims' needs and rights; experience of building up mediation services in the UK." This paper was presented to Regional Forum on ‘Implementing Alternative Measures in Penal Cases:  introducing and sharing experiences on restorative justice and victim-offender mediation application for juveniles and beyond’, organized in Tirana by the Albanian Ministry of Justice and others, 25-26 February, 2009. Download the full paper.