Victim Offender Intervention Services (VOIS)
VICTIM SERVICES: The Office of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs, or OVRJP, is here to provide assistance, information and support to those harmed by persons in our custody or on supervision. Call 1-800-778-1182.
VICTIM OFFENDER DIALOGUE or VOD: Sometimes, survivors of crime want to meet with the offender in their case. A face-to-face facilitated meeting is an option. VOD is a voluntary program that involves careful planning and preparation with a trained facilitator.
This program adheres to the national standards and principles for Victim-Centered VOD which can be found on the following website: www.navac.website/VOD.
OTHER FACILITATED COMMUNICATION OPTIONS: Many survivors would like to communicate, but are not interested in meeting with the offender. Our office can assist with “indirect” communication such as letter writing, or presenting a list of questions. Letters and lists of questions are then presented to the offender by a trained facilitator and feedback can be provided to the survivor.
IS THERE A COST? All services through VOIS are free and confidential.
MORE ABOUT VICTIM OFFENDER DIALOGUE:
Once you contact our office, a trained facilitator will contact all parties involved and assess if VOD is the best option. If all parties agree, individual preparation sessions take place until all parties feel ready, concerns are explored, and safety issues are addressed.
COMMON REASONS SURVIVORS CHOOSE VOD:
- To express the loss, trauma and other impacts of the offense directly to the offender,
- To be more fully informed about the incident, about the offender, and have questions answered.
- To experience a greater sense of healing.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS FOR OFFENDERS:
- To gain a greater understanding of the harm suffered by victims.
- To have an opportunity to acknowledge the harm, express accountability, and find out how to, potentially, “make things right.”
- To repair some of the harm caused by the offense.
APOLOGY LETTER BANK: VOD is a victim-centered program and only accepts referrals from victim/survivors. An alternative for offenders who wish to express an apology may participate in the Apology Letter Bank program. Victims may contact our office to see if the offender in their case has submitted a letter.
FOR ALL VOIS PROGRAM OPTIONS, CONTACT:Mary Roche, LMHC – Director of Victim & Restorative Justice Programs
Waterloo Women’s Center for Change – 1515 Lafayette Street, Waterloo, IA 50703
1-800-778-1182 or 319-292-0940 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, contact Ed Cummings – Victim Services Specialist
515-725-0039 or email: email@example.com
To learn more about Restorative Justice, visit the following websites: