I first learned about the organization when my roommate began working for them last fall. He began informing me about Restorative Justice and the Circle Process. I could immediately see how much he enjoyed working with SCVRJP and it was evident that there was a positive impact being made on the surrounding community. I have not personally attended a session at SCVRJP but I hope to in the near future
ln my opinion, I think that everyone of any age, should attend one of these meetings, before getting a drivers license!!
SCVRJP's talking circle training has been a core component to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls' Destination Program. Our Domestic Destination Program occurs over spring break. The program includes education on a social issue, direct service, and reflection. We use talking circles as the main medium to facilitate reflection. What we have found is that by using talking circles our participants gain a greater understanding of one another as well as the social issue they are examining throughout the week of service. Talking Circles give everyone a voice and by sharing stories people gain a new perspective/compassion for each other. The Destination Program is so thankful that SCVRJP trains and enlightens us each year! Through the talking circle process lives are transformed.
As a volunteer I feel that what SCVRJP is doing is wonderful job and I love being able to help out any opportunity that I can. I think the Victim Impact Panels help a great deal and I always feel something new when I come out of them. I enjoyed being an intern and learned many things over my time being there. I don't have a personal story that is like any of the ones I have heard of my time being here but I share my story as a community member to help make changes for the good. I help organize a face to face meeting with an offender and the offended and I feel that this can better serve them instead of a harsh punishment. I feel that this is because they have to actually speak to the one they hurt instead of just serving their time and never showing that person that they are sorry for what they did. I enjoy helping out at SCVRJP and I would love to help out again in the future.
Victim Impact Panels help make OWI offenses about more than just the ticket; they make it about HUMAN LIVES. Having worked with countless attendees and having attended several Victim Impact Panels myself I feel this is one requirement of OWI offenders that has the biggest impact on the curbing the choices that lead to reoffending.
As a repeat OWI offender I went and seen a victim impact panel present their pleas to myself and others like me. It was an eye opening experience listening to family's impacted by behavior like mine as well as hearing testimony from previous offenders. Changed my viewpoint about how severe my decisions were and that Johnny Law was not just out to get me. We all make decisions and not always the right ones, but drinking and driving is one of the most easily preventable and inexcusable acts one can decide to do. In part due to the presentation afforded to me from my own decisions and the people who took the time to share their stories, I no longer am the same man and recommend all to participate in or see for themselves what I am talking about!
Touched by tradgedy by losing my 19 year old daughter in a car crash, caused by her own alcohol consumption, I felt the need to help others by trying to prevent more traffic fatalities. I was referred to SCVRJP. They offered me an avenue by telling my story to others. I speak at Victim Impact Panels to people convicted of DUI's and Drivers Ed classes and at area High School Mock crashes. We try to help teens choose to make better driving and life choices. SCVRJP also initiates talks between a victim of a crime and the offender by bringing them together to repair the harm. There are many opportunities to get involved in community events or classes being offered such as Grief Circles and Death Notification Training for first responders as a couple of examples. SCVRJP is an EXCELLENT program with endless possibilities to make a deep and long lasting impact on the community! I am proud to be a part of this organization