25-Word Agency Description
VORP is a 501 (c)(3) public benefit agency. We provide a voluntary, non-fee mediation service to victims of juvenile crime and their offenders, within Fresno County.
500-Word Detailed Agency Description
The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program of the Central Valley, Inc. has provided a faith and community-based service to Fresno County for over twenty years (1982- ).
We annually invite over 700 families to consider the option of mediation to address the issue of juvenile crime in our county. We serve Fresno County. Our primary area of service is to a large multi-cultural and multi-lingual clientele in the greater Fresno Metropolitan Area.
Victim offender mediation is based on the principles of restorative justice, which has the goal of restoring wholeness to those affected by crime. Victim offender mediation involves a face-to-face meeting, in the presence of a trained volunteer mediator, who facilitates a dialogue between an individual(s) who has been victimized by a crime and the perpetrator(s). In the process of restorative justice, the community takes on the significant civic responsibility of ensuring that justice is done.
The person responsible for the crime is held accountable for their actions and given an opportunity to make things right. Victims have their questions answered and their restitution and emotional needs met. Both parties have a significant voice in how the crime is addressed to meet their unique personal needs and concerns.
A recent State of California Evaluation of Victim Offender Programs, sponsored by the Judicial Council of California, identified three primary outcomes of victim and offender mediation: (1) offenders committed fewer crimes; (2) victims experienced a significantly higher incidence of financial restoration; and (3) both victims and offenders consistently reported high levels of satisfaction in having met one another and having their needs and concerns addressed (May 2000).
Traditionally, referrals have come to VORP from the Fresno County Juvenile Probation Department and Court. Youth may be referred at any time during the course of their journey through the juvenile justice system. VORP does not discriminate based upon race, creed, color, gender or sexual preference. Referrals are based upon four criteria: (1) the offender acknowledges involvement in the offense; (2) victim restitution has been ordered; (3) there is a clearly identifiable victim; and (4) the availability of trained volunteer mediators and staff to manage each referral to completion.
We operate with a core of four paid staff personnel. These individuals give oversight to: (1) the management of volunteer mediators; (2) agreements made by victim and offender clients, (3) bookkeeping of victim restitution and general program operations and (4) administration and fundraising. We operate on an average annual budget of $55,000 per year. This responsibility is primarily financed by churches and private citizens, with a portion of the budget from county funds. We wish to expand our budget and services to serve an increasing portion of the appropriate cases in Fresno.
By balancing funding, volunteers and referrals, we believe we can achieve these goals while continuing to effectively contribute to the quality of life in our county.
Updated 9/12/05 by Webmaster.
For information about VORP in Fresno today please contact:
© 2021 Duane Ruth-Heffelbower