Victim Offender Conferencing

Overview

Victim Offender Conferencing (VOC) is used when both the client(s) and direct victim(s) are willing and able to participate in the process. It is a face-to-face meeting among client(s), victim(s), and primary supporters, facilitated by trained community volunteers.

Suitability

The following criteria must be met before the case is deemed suitable for a VOC:

  1. The victim must be in agreement with the VOC
  2. The offender must accept responsibility and be willing to actively participate.

Process

Chilliwack Restorative Justice will assign a facilitator and co-facilitator who will meet with all parties individually in a pre-interview to discuss the incident, explain the procedure, and answer questions. At the forum, each participant is given a chance to talk about how the incident has affected him/her and decide on a resolution that will help repair the harm caused. The facilitator’s responsibility is to help the process along by asking appropriate open questions, clarifying points, and ensuring that the outcome is reasonable and satisfactory to all parties. A Resolution Agreement is prepared and signed by all parties.

Follow-up

A volunteer Mentor will be assigned to do the follow-up with the offender and will act as a liaison between him/her and Chilliwack Restorative Justice until the Resolution Agreement is completed.

Closure

When a Resolution Agreement has been completed, the offender is given a letter of completion. All parties are asked to provide comments on the process by completing an evaluation.