Restorative Justice: RSVP
Offenders can and must learn how to stop their violent behavior, and must be given the opportunity to understand, take responsibility for, and repair the harm they have done. Offender restoration in a custody-based setting includes case management and curricula that help offenders to:
- Change their violent behavior via a supportive male-role belief reeducation curriculum
- assume personal responsibility
- develop an understanding of the consequences of violence for victims
- find opportunities to heal the damage they have caused, and
- advocate nonviolence in their communities
One of RSVP's core principles is that victims have the right to be heard and to participate in the design and operation of violence prevention programs. By providing victims of offenders with parallel services such as case management, and empowerment curriculum referrals, RSVP benefits survivors, their families and their communities. In some cases, survivors have also emerged as persuasive violence prevention advocates.
Upon release, most RSVP participants reenter the community under the formal supervision of local criminal justice agencies. All have the opportunity to continue with violence prevention, relapse prevention, education, and job readiness so that they may begin to repair the harm caused by their violence and give back to the community from which they have taken. Post-release options include working with community and victim's organizations, mentoring, collaborating with survivors on theatrical productions, and speaking at schools where high-risk youth are on the verge of being violent.