AN organisation which aims to rehabilitate offenders in Gloucestershire has been nominated for a prestigious national award.

Restorative Gloucestershire has been shortlisted by the Howard League for Penal Reform in one of its main categories, the Community Programmes Award in ‘Restorative Justice’.

It is a group of statutory, non-statutory and voluntary sector partners which helps offenders make amends for their crimes.

Becky Beard, Restorative Gloucestershire co-ordinator, said: “We’re really excited at being shortlisted and to get national recognition for all the hard work put in by all of our partners.

“The essence of what we do enables offenders to acknowledge the harm they have done which not only enhances their chances of rehabilitation and, most important of all, is more satisfying for their victims”.

Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who funds Restorative Gloucestershire as part of his Police and Crime Plan, said: “Evidence shows that RJ is effective in reducing crime, helping victims in a healing process, holding offenders to account and increasing their awareness of the harm they have caused. It is a theme running through my police and crime plan.

“Restorative Gloucestershire has helped train nearly all of our front-line officers and PCSOs in how to use the system and is widely regarded as a leader in the field.

“To be shortlisted is an achievement in itself and recognition of the tremendous work it does. Victims like it too as they often feel that offenders are learning a lesson at the same time.”