News & Events
The IAM Initiative: Victim Offender Dialogue for Juveniles
1. Victim offender Dialogue (VOD) is a process that falls within the concept of “Restorative Justice”.
- a. Howard Zehr defines restorative justice as: “…a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible.”
- b. Arose from concern that victim needs not being met within traditional judicial process:
- i. Alienation and frustration with system by community and victim;
- ii. Lock up not working;
- iii. Multiple other reasons;
2. Process developed to:
- a. Include all stakeholders (victim, offender, community) in decision making;
- b. Make sure voices are valued;
- c. Repair the harm ;
- d. Help with competency development;
- a. Offender, from blame,
- i. to acceptance of responsibility,
- ii. understanding nature of harm caused,
- iii. Competency development,
- iv. Safety for community.
- b. Victim, we give;
- i. Voice,
- ii. Needs identified and met whenever possible,
- iii. Involvement.
- c. Community:
- i. Safety;
- ii. Reintegration of offender;
- iii. Community building.
- a. Need to be trained in methodology (one day course), Quicker if only skilled mediators involved as trainees, 4 hours at most, may be less)
- b. Basic questions involve harm (Keep in mind that a juvenile may not, without reflection, grasp the nature of the harm caused, etc. learning process):
- i. Done to whom;
- ii. What is the harm?
- iii. What needs to be done to repair the harm?
- iv. Who needs to repair harm?
- c. All this while involving all relevant stakeholders:
- d. This is a project that a mediator would work on a case by case basis through local juvenile court.