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Victim-Offender Mediation With Violent Offenders: Implications for Modification of the VORP (Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program) Model

Umbreit, Mark S
June 4, 2015

Source: (1990) In, Emilio Viano, ed., The Victimology Handbook: Research Findings, Treatment, and Public Policy. New York: Garland Publishing Inc. Pp. 337-35.

Initially begun in Kitchner, Ontario, in the mid-1970’s and then introduced in the United States in 1978, Victim-Offender Reconciliation Programs (VORP’s) are now operating or being developed in approximately 100 U.S. communities. In VORP’s offenders and victims are brought face-to-face with a trained mediator to express feelings, answer questions, and negotiate restitution. VORP was designed for use with nonviolent property crimes involving a restitution obligation. The findings reported in this paper, however, indicate the VORP model is equally if not more appropriate for selected violent crimes. Drawing on a fundamental element of the model, that of promoting reconciliation and healing within a context of viewing crime as relational, consideration should be given to modifying the VORP model to encompass some victims and offenders involved in violent crime. This initiative should include appropriate training for the mediators who will be involved.


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