U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO): A Guide for Creating Defense-Based Victim Outreach Services, Prosecuting Attorney Manual

NCJ Number
Stephanie Frogge, MTS; Marilyn Armour Ph.D.
Date Published
86 pages
This manual was developed by the Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue for use by prosecuting attorneys in developing a defense-initiated victim outreach program.
Defense-initiated victim outreach (DIVO) is based on the philosophy of restorative justice and is intended to develop open lines of communication between the victim survivor, and/or their family, and the defense team. These lines of communication are intended to reduce the level of anger and tension that often occurs in criminal justice cases, especially capital murder cases. The manual has several purposes: 1) to assist prosecuting attorneys in developing principled DIVO in their State or region; 2) to find material to promote DIVO among prosecutors and other key stakeholders such as judges, defense attorneys, and victim service providers; and 3) to present programmatic ideas for maintaining and coordinating a DIVO program, overcoming obstacles, maintaining accountability, and assuring continuity of service. Topics covered in the manual include evolving standards of practice, information on restorative justice, a short description of DIVO, DIVO's non-aligned status, victim survivor trauma, principles of DIVO, collaboration, involuntary relationship and DIVO, the kinds of needs that DIVO has addressed, selecting victim outreach specialists, and training prosecutors on DIVO. Appendixes