Our Restorative Justice services in Northeast Ohio provides the opportunity for those most directly affected by crime — the victim, the offender, their families, and community members — to be directly and actively involved in responding to the harm caused by crime. By coming together for a dialogue, all parties can discuss what happened, how it has affected their lives, and what can be done to repair the harm. Restorative justice promotes offender accountability and responsibility, victim empowerment and satisfaction, and community collaboration and safety. This philosophy and approach is in line with JUT′s mission, and we are pleased to offer Restorative Justice Programs in Northeast Ohio.
The Victim Offender Dialogue Program
Our Victim Offender Dialogue Program provides a forum for victims, juvenile offenders, and family members to meet and talk in a safe, respectful and constructive environment. At the professionally facilitated dialogue, the parties discuss the effects of the crime on all of their lives and develop a mutually agreeable plan for the offender to follow that addresses the harm caused by the crime. The program handles a wide variety of cases, ranging from non-violent to violent offenses and from misdemeanors to felonies. We offer meeting locations throughout Northeast Ohio including Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Ashtabula counties.
Victim Offender Dialogue is transformative in that it promotes the healing process of victims, encourages the responsibility of offenders, includes family and community participation, and provides an opportunity for the victim and offender to have a highly effective and satisfying discussion. Many victims who participate in the program experience support, validation and the satisfaction of having a voice in the justice process by telling their story directly to the person who caused them harm. After a dialogue, victims are often able to go on with their lives with a new sense of empowerment and promise. By meeting face to face with the victims, offenders are given the opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of the impact of their actions, to develop more empathy, remorse and accountability, and to make things right. Through this process, offenders can develop competency and experience productive reintegration into community life – which has the added benefits of lowering recidivism and improving public safety and community building in Northeast Ohio.