WHAT IS VORP?
VORP is a program of Shalom that is available to the courts and communities of Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan enabling offenders an opportunity to sit down with the victims of their crime and make things right. VORP cases are referred to Shalom by area judges and probation departments. Shalom then contacts the victim (s) and the offender (s) and facilitates a separate pre-mediation conference with the respective parties. It is imperative that Shalom establish itself as neutral in the conflict. We listen, understand and clarify the offense that has taken place and gather information that is helpful in bringing the offender and the victim together so that they can begin the process of restitution and reconciliation.
What are the benefits?
- Opportunity to have direct part in the settlement of claim
- Restitution is possible in the form of cash or labor for damages
- Relief from frustration through direct healthy communication
- Opportunity to have direct part in the settlement of the claim
- Alternative to imprisonment and its damaging effects
- Opportunity to ask for a receive for forgiveness for the offense committed
For the towns and communities in which we live
- Lowers the rate of repeating offenses
- Expedites the legal process
- Offers a more cost effective approach
Who can use VORP?
- Adult and Juvenile Courts
- Probation teams/departments
- Police Departments
- Other Community Agencies
Why Use VORP?
- It offers a total or partial alternative to incarceration
- It establishes fair restitution amounts and doable and durable payment schedules
- Increases positive attitudes, communication patterns and understandings between offenders and their victims as well as within the communities in which they live
In short, VORP offers an opportunity for:
We are working toward restorative justice when we…
- Focus on the harms of wrongdoing more than the rules that have been broken,
- Show equal concern and commitment to victims and offenders, involving both in the process of justice,
- Work toward the restoration of victims, empowering them and responding to their needs as they see themselves,
- Support offenders while encouraging them to understand, accept and carry out their obligations,
- Recognize that while obligations may be difficult for offenders, they should not be intended as harms and they must be achievable,
- Provide opportunities for dialogue, direct or indirect, between victims and offenders as appropriate,
- Involve and empower the affected community through the justice process, and increase its capacity to recognize and respond to community bases of crime,
- Encourage collaboration and reintegration rather than coercion and isolation,
- Give attention to the unintended consequences of our actions and programs,
- Show respect to all parties including victims, offenders, and justice colleagues.