After offenders cause harm, we seek to reconcile them with their victims and the entire community to help them find ways to make things right. This approach keeps every party engaged and gives victims a voice.
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."