Restorative Justice is a criminal justice concept that gives victims a voice, focuses on offender accountability, and promotes healing for everyone affected by crime – victims, families, communities, and offenders. The Department of Corrections invites victims to meet with offenders, following careful preparation with a trained facilitator, to discuss how their lives have changed due to the offender's criminal acts.
Some victims want to meet with their offenders face-to-face to discuss how the crime has affected them and their loved ones, and to ask questions only the offender can answer. The Department of Corrections provides the opportunity for this to occur in a safe setting, after intensive preparation of both parties under the direction of trained facilitators. Only victims can initiate such a dialogue, and the process is voluntary for both parties. Either party may discontinue the process at any time. Call (888) 223-6332 if you would like to discuss Victim-Offender Dialogue with the victim programs manager.
Victim Impact Panels
Victims are invited to speak on a VIP in a prerelease center or the Treasure State Correctional Training Center, a boot camp in Deer Lodge. VIPs give victims an opportunity to tell about their experiences, meet other victims who might have similar experiences, and hold offenders accountable for their crimes. Staff will ensure that victims who volunteer for a VIP do not encounter their offender during their visit to a DOC facility.
VIPs force offenders to face directly the harm they have caused others. Hundreds of thank-you letters to victim speakers document the success of VIPs in helping offenders change their criminal thinking patterns.
Crime victims who are ready to share their stories with offenders and other victims, or who would like more information, are invited to call the victim programs manager at (888) 223-6332.
Offender Accountability Letter Bank
Victims often envision that offenders disregard the devastation they have caused and have no remorse. Many offenders are sincerely sorry and want their victims to know that they are taking steps to change their criminal behavior.
Letters written to victims by offenders remain in the Accountability Letter Bank, a depository in the victim programs manager's office, until victims choose to receive them. DOC does not allow offenders to mail letters directly to victims, but we will inform a victim that a letter is available if we have current contact information.
Victims who would like to know if their offender wrote a letter may call the DOC victim programs manager at (888) 233-6332.