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Victim/Offender Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
10 pages
This fact sheet provides key information on Victim/Offender Programs (VOPs).
Findings suggest that VOPs have become an important and integral component of criminal and juvenile justice processes in the United States. Their focus on validating the impact of crime on victims, identifying and addressing victims' most important needs, and providing opportunities for juvenile and adult defendants/offenders to accept responsibility for their actions has resulted in an promising programmatic approach to justice and offender accountability. This fact sheet provides an overview of VOPs, including: information on the 7 values of restorative justice; victim and offender mediation or dialogue programs which afford an opportunity for the victim and offender to develop a mutually acceptable plan that addresses the harm caused by the crime; key elements to include in any VOP planning and development; the value of programs and classes for offenders which provide information on the impact of crime on victims; information on special considerations for domestic violence cases; information on the concept and value of family group conferences which allow both the offender and the victim to reconnect to key community support systems; using restorative community services for convicted and adjudicated individuals to pay back to the community for the harm that their criminal actions have caused; using sentencing circles, a community-directed process which in partnership with the juvenile and criminal justice systems develop consensus on appropriated sentencing plans for an offender; and victim/offender mediation or dialogue programs which provides victims and offenders an opportunity to address the harm caused by the crime. Figure, resources, and references