Volume 8, Issue 1

Spring 1997


The Publications Committee presents articles about victim-offender mediation programs housed within governmental criminal justice departments.  The frst two are compiled by Beverly Moore from information given by D. Doerfler and D. Wittman.

Victim Offender
Mediation/Dialogue Program
Victim Services,
Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice

The purpose of the Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue Program (VOM/D), housed in Victim Services of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), is to provide victims of violent crime the opportunity to have a structured face-to-face meeting with their offender(s) in a secure, safe environment in order to facilitate a healing, recovery process.

Three basic program elements make the Texas VOM/D program unique in the United States, and perhaps the world. These elements, though represented within other programs on an isolated basis, do not appear together as consistent characteristics of an established state-wide system as they do in Texas.

The first element, program structure, places the VOM/D program within the Victim Services Division of the TDCJ. As a state-wide initiative, Victim Services has authority and responsibility within all facets of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, including probation, parole. State jails, and the world's largest prison system. A strong cooperative working relationship also exists with the Texas Youth

Commission of the Juvenile Justice System.

TDCJ Victim Services was established in April of 1993. Since that time, it has grown from two to twenty staff persons. The development of Victim Services has been a most significant acknowledgment of victims' status as an emerging power in a predominantly offender-centered system. The VOM/D program has been sufficiently supported and protected to allow for its steady growth and maturity in Victim Services.

The second element is program initiation. As a direct service of TDCJ Victim Services, the VOM/D program is expressly offered for assistance to victims of violent crimes. Only victims can Initiate the process, and each victim determines the primary objectives to be accomplished and the "shape and scope'' of his or her healing process. VOM/D is provided as a victim-centered opportunity to facilitate a healing, recovery process for victims.

People who are victimized by violent crime deal with their pain in differen
t ways. Some choose to try to forget what has happened and put it all behind them. Some victims' lives become infected by depression and by acting out the pain they feel through destruc

(Continued on page 3)


Page 1 Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue
Program, David Doerfler
Page 2
Board of Directors, Welcome the Restorative Justice Institute!
Page 4
Become Involved in Your Association
Page 5
An IN-System VOMP, Warren Oster
Page 7
Communities and the Justice System - Turning the Relationship Upside Down, Kay Pranis
Page 10
Newsletter Submissions
Page 11
VOMA Member 1997 Conference!
Page 12
VOMA Membership Application

The Victim-Offender Mediation Association is an association of individuals, organizations, governmental entities,
educational institutions, ansd students with an interest in mediation, restorative justice, or the criminal justice system.