Source: (2005) Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Cmssn on Crime and Delinquency.
The curriculum is designed for a group with a maximum of 15 offenders, and the 3 sessions of the curriculum encompass 3 to 4 hours. The first session is an introductory session that involves welcoming participants and group introduction, the administering of a pretest, the presentation of a group contract for behavior within the group, and an overview of balanced and restorative justice. The second session focuses on the impact of crime. In this session, group participants engage in role-playing as a crime victim or someone in the community who must deal with the aftermath of a crime described by the group facilitator. Each group member is assigned a role to play that involves thought about the kinds of feelings the character might have. The third session builds upon the second session by having each group member describe in detail the offense he/she committed, followed by a description of how his/her offense affected the victim and community. Group members may ask questions and provide feedback regarding the impact of each member’s offense. Part of this session is having group members compose an apology letter to their victims and to the community. Materials for each session are provided, along with guidance for the facilitator. A section on information and resources includes a victim/community awareness completion report, a victim impact statement, guidelines for assessing offender accountability, suggested readings, and descriptions of victim-awareness video clips. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
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