Explore Our Progams
Catalyst in Community
Do you ever wish you could connect with neighbors or colleagues who seem to be on another planet, but who live in your backyard? We long for a vital, welcoming, safe community. Yet, our world is divided and polarized. Suspicion and fear drive us apart, sometimes creating conflict that may erupt into violence.
VICTIM OFFENDeR RECONCILIATION PROGRAM (VORP)
Criminal Justice System
What law was broken?
Who broke it?
How can the offender be punished?
These are important questions. However, they may not address the experiences of the people who were actually involved in the crime.
Who was affected?
What harm did they experience?
How can the harm be made right?
Restorative justice is an alternative approach that views crime as harm is done to people and communities and seeks to identify and address that harm.
A New Conversation
The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) works with both the victim and the offender to identify how crime affected the victim, and what steps the offender can take to begin to make things right.
This requires a new conversation—one that involves both the offender and the victim.
It is a conversation that allows victims to ask questions about why the offense was committed and to tell the offender how it affected them. It is also a conversation that gives offenders an opportunity to take responsibility for their actions by taking steps to address the harm they caused. This conversation may involve a face-to-face meeting between the victim and the offender, or it may be facilitated indirectly by the VORP staff. One outcome of the VORP conversation is a contract that identifies how the offender will make reparation for their actions.
These are the problems your crime has caused in my life
I did not realize your suffering, I feel ashamed for what I have done
what victims say about VORP
"This is a great thing to do. It helped me understand why the person did what they did. It helps each of us understand better and gets our feelings out there."
what OFFENDERS say about VORP
"Without this program, I wouldn’t be able to have this chance to apologize and make things right."
Transitional Recovery Coaching
One of the most important aspects of a person’s reentry and/or recovery; yet, one of the most overlooked, is the availability of positive, pro-social relationships. Returning citizens often find themselves returning to former relationships. Unfortunately, all too often, they are relationships that will increase their vulnerability to re-offend. And while nobody plans to go back to prison, once they are released, in Elkhart County, nearly 4 in10 will do just that; 50.1% will return to IDOC for the commission of a new crime and approximately 49.9% for a technical rule violation.
How it works
A TRC client will meet weekly (for the first three months) with their coaches to work through their recovery/re-entry plan.
Clients determine their recovery and/or reentry plan and TRC coaches will help them stay on course while helping to develop their strengths and potential.
A transitional or recovery coaching relationship can last up to one year after release.
This is a voluntary program, not a level of supervision nor is it mandated through the courts or the Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC). A client can end a coaching relationship at any time. However, evidence-based practice reveals that the longer a returning citizen remains in pro-social relationships the greater the chance of never reoffending.
Why it's needed
These are some of the reasons our clients have stated before joining our coaching program
“I need support to stay off of meth, because if I don’t have support with this then I know that I will definitely go back to using.”
“I’ve never really had someone to guide me in the proper direction in my life and being in this program will truly help me out.”
“I feel like this would help me. If I had someone to coach me in the beginning then I wouldn’t be here in the first place."
“I think that if I have all the support options that are out there, I might just make it this time and not get caught up in problems"
“I feel that having as much support and peer mentorship will benefit me upon release. At this point, I have very few friends left and feel that TCP will help me start to have healthier relationships with boundaries already established.”
Victim Impact Panel
What is VIP/ Changing Lanes?
The purpose of this program is to enable participants to make better decisions or as we say to take “Radical Personal Responsibility” for their decisions concerning operating while intoxicated (OWI) and driving under the influence (DUI). It is all about making good decisions for life. Attendees of this program are referred by both adult and juvenile courts.
How does it work?
The Panel consists of volunteer speakers who have experienced firsthand the effects of accidents caused by drivers impaired by alcohol or other drugs or who have caused these accidents themselves.
Each person on the panel will tell you about the day that changed his or her life forever. Some panelists have been injured or have lost loved ones as a result of a crash caused by a driver who was impaired. Other panelists may have injured or killed someone driving while impaired.
Panelists hope that attendees, after hearing these types of stories will realize the consequences and suffering that driving while impaired can cause. Our desired and expected outcome is that experiencing VIP can prevent tragedies such as these from occurring which can affect your family or someone else’s.
Additionally, individuals who attend also have the option of asking for a Peer Recovery/ Addictions Coach as they take responsibility for their decisions. As our VIP coordinator says “You’re always one decision away from living a totally different life.”
Register for VIP/ Changing Lanes
Promise Academy for Conflict
PArt Workshop Series
CCJ’s staff of conflict resolution and restorative justice experts teach program participants conflict resolution skills to help them stay out of trouble in the future. With a focus on constructive communication, perspective-taking, and non-violent communication, PACT challenges youth to take nonviolent approaches to conflict. The social-emotional development that youth experience from the PACT workshop series helps them at school, at home, and in the community. Giving youth a second chance to make things right when they have caused harm recognizes the promise that youth have. Empowering them to live up to that promise is a PACT worth making.
eMPOWER yOUTH TO tRANSFORM coNFLICT
In efforts to provide additional support to PACT participants, CCJ also meets with parents before and after PACT in what CCJ calls Family ImPACT Nights. During one of these sessions, a parent explained that their child has had a traumatic year and that her hope for her child after going through PACT is “that her heart starts to heal because her heart was broken”. The Center for Community Justice is happy that PACT has provided another pathway to healing for those who need it.
What do our youth say about PACT?
"Pact helped me learn new ways to deal with anger and conflict”
“We learned how to deal with conflict better and what we can do to solve problems. Now I will talk to people more to understand why they are doing what they are doing.”
“I learned that talking about feelings and emotions due to conflict is better than fighting. Now I will talk things through instead of fighting.”
“PACT helped me learn new ways to deal with anger and conflict. I learned how to cope and do better with drama. I think it will help me stay out of drama”