Rhode Island Victim Offender Restoration Program (RI-VORP) is a volunteer organization under the joint care of the Catholic Diocese of Providence and the RI State Council of Churches.
RI-VORP was formed as a response to a call for Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is a radical shift from the current thinking about justice. In our current justice system, crime is recognized as a breaking of rules, and offenders are accountable to the state in some abstract fashion. Restorative Justice recognizes the harm done to the victim and places repairing that harm in the center of the system. Crime is a violation of the victim and the community; crime causes a tear in the fabric of society, and it is this tear which the public experiences and wants repaired. Retribution cannot repair this tear. Retribution can only push people farther apart, increasing the harm done to the victim as well as the offender.
In Biblical terms, crime disrupts "shalom" or the right relationship between individuals, the community, and God. Restorative Justice works to restore shalom by holding the offender accountable to the victim for repairing the harm done by the crime, and by giving the community a role to play in responding to both the victim and the offender
Victim Offender mediation is a Restorative Justice process which provides interested victims of primarily property crimes the opportunity to meet the offender, in a safe and structured setting, with the goal of holding the offender directly accountable for their behavior while providing important assistance and compensation to the victim. With the assistance of a trained mediator, the victim is able to let the offender know how the crime affected him or her, to receive answers to questions they may have, and to be directly involved in developing a restitution plan for the offender to be accountable for the losses the victim incurred. The offender is able to take direct responsibility for their behavior, to learn of the full impact of what s/he did, and to develop a plan for making amends to the person(s) s/he violated.
RI-VORP uses a form of mediation called "conferencing," which also brings in, where possible, other persons supportive of the victim and/or offender. (See RealJustice).
What's New information on RIVORP activities and additions to this website
The RIVORP Brochure for downloading in Adobe Acrobat Format - (requires an Acrobat Reader).
"Restoring Justice Through Dialogue," a fact sheet on Victim Offender Mediation from the Center for Restorative Justice and Mediation, University of Minnesota School of Social Work.
Restorative Justice: Restoring Victims and Offenders, Building Healthy Communities(Adobe Acrobat format - requires an Acrobat Reader). A pamphlet from the Friends for Restorative Justice of the New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Join the Restorative Justice New England mailing list
The Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) Information and Resource Center, articles, training information, and testimonials on the VORP movement.
Victim Offender Mediation Association (VOMA), the professional association for Victim Offender Mediators and Restorative Justice practioners.
The Center for Restorative Justice and Mediation,a research and evaluation project of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work under the direction of Restorative Justice pioneer Dr. Mark Umbriet.
Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice (CERJ) , a leading advocacy organization for the Restorative Justice movement.
RealJustice, promoting and preparing practioners for the Family Group Conferencing method of Victim Offender mediation.
RestorativeJustice.com, compiling the stories of Restorative Justice successes.
For faith-based approaches to restorative justice, see:
Mennonite Central Committee Office on Crime and Justice,
The Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies
The Prison Fellowship International Restorative Justice Web page
The Justice Fellowship Web site
For more information about the
Rhode Island Victim Offender Restoration Program
Voice Mail: 401-462-4410