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 aresponse to a call for Restorative Justice. Restorative Justice is aradical shift from the current thinking about justice. In our currentjustice system, crime is recognized as a breaking of rules, and offenders are accountableto the state in some abstract fashion. Restorative Justice recognizes the harm doneto the victim and places repairing that harm in the center of the system. Crime is aviolation 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. Retributioncannot repair this tear. Retribution can only push people farther apart, increasingthe harm done to the victim as well as the offender.
In Biblical terms, crime disrupts "shalom" or the right relationship betweenindividuals, the community, and God. Restorative Justice works torestore shalom by holding the offender accountable to the victim for repairing the harmdone by the crime, and by giving the community a role to play in responding to both thevictim and the offender
Victim Offender mediation isa Restorative Justice process which provides interested victims of primarily propertycrimes the opportunity to meet the offender, in a safe and structured setting, with thegoal of holding the offender directly accountable for their behavior while providingimportant assistance and compensation to the victim. With the assistance of atrained mediator, the victim is able to let the offender know how the crime affected himor her, to receive answers to questions they may have, and to be directly involved indeveloping a restitution plan for the offender to be accountable for the losses the victimincurred. The offender is able to take direct responsibility for their behavior, tolearn of the full impact of what s/he did, and to develop a plan for making amends to theperson(s) s/he violated.
RI-VORP uses a form of mediation called "conferencing," which alsobrings 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 - (requiresan Acrobat Reader).
"Restoring Justice Through Dialogue," a factsheet on Victim Offender Mediation from the Center for Restorative Justice and Mediation,University of Minnesota School of Social Work.
RestorativeJustice: Restoring Victims and Offenders, Building Healthy Communities(Adobe Acrobat format - requires an Acrobat Reader). Apamphlet from the Friends for Restorative Justice of the New England Yearly Meeting of theReligious Society of Friends.
Join the Restorative Justice NewEngland mailing list
The Victim-Offender ReconciliationProgram (VORP) Information and Resource Center, articles,training information, and testimonials on the VORP movement.
Victim Offender MediationAssociation (VOMA), the professional associationfor Victim Offender Mediators and Restorative Justice practioners.
The Center forRestorative Justice and Mediation,a research and evaluationproject of the University of Minnesota School of Social Work under the direction ofRestorative Justice pioneer Dr. Mark Umbriet.
Campaign for Equity-RestorativeJustice (CERJ) , a leading advocacy organization for theRestorative Justice movement.
RealJustice,promoting and preparing practioners for the Family Group Conferencing method of VictimOffender mediation.
RestorativeJustice.com,compiling the stories of Restorative Justice successes.
For faith-based approaches to restorativejustice, see:
MennoniteCentral Committee Office on Crime and Justice,
The Center for Peacemakingand Conflict Studies
ThePrison Fellowship International Restorative Justice Web page
The JusticeFellowship Web site
For more information about the
Rhode Island Victim OffenderRestoration Program
Voice Mail: 401-462-4410