Our Program is an Opportunity...
Victims' Voices Heard gives victims of violent crime the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the person who committed a violent crime against them. Meeting with the person who committed the crime provides victims with the opportunity to:
· Tell the offender the full impact the crime has had on their lives
· Ask questions and receive answers about the crime from the offender
· Hear offenders take responsibility for the crime and express their remorse
· Receive personal insight and feel empowered
· Find out about the offender’s life inside the institution and what kind of person they are after the crime
The dialogue is in large part a transfer of power from offender to victim.
Our program is based around the restorative justice concept. Restorative justice aims to center the justice process more on the needs of the victim, creating a process that encourages healing and transformation. It puts key decisions into the hands of those most affected by the crime: the victim. It enables their voice to be heard by the person responsible for creating the harm.
At the same time, restorative justice attempts to reduce the likelihood of future crimes through dialogue and having offenders see for themselves the harm their actions have caused.
Victims' Voices Heard works with victims on a case-by-case basis before determining whether or not a dialogue with their offender is appropriate. We then work with the Department of Correction to facilitate a communication medium with the offenders who are willing to take responsibility and able to express their remorse, which is a condition of the program. Victims' Voices Heard ensures that offenders are deemed sincere before organizing a face-to-face meeting, in order to protect the victim and their family from further victimization.
Ultimately, when both parties are prepared, Victims' Voices Heard facilitates a face-to-face dialogue between victims and their offenders.
This program is provided free of charge to victims and survivors of violent crime and their families.