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Victim Offender Dialogue Mediator Training for Severe and Violent Crimes

Insight Prison Project

Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:00 AM - Friday, April 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

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The cost of the training is $700. IPP will bill you once you have been selected as a training participant. Please see event details below for more information.
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Event Details


This Restorative Justice training will teach individuals the fundamental skills required to facilitate dialogues between victims/survivors and the responsible party of severe and violent crime.


About Victim Offender Dialogues
A Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) is a dialogue between a harmed person and the person responsible for the harm. The purpose of a VOD is to provide those who have been harmed with an opportunity to have a structured, face-to-face meeting with the person responsible for the harm in a secure, safe environment in order to facilitate a transformative process for all parties involved. The dialogues are voluntary for both parties and guided by volunteer facilitators specifically trained in the process of Victim Offender Dialogues.


VOD Program at Insight Prison Project (IPP)
IPP has worked in collaboration with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for over a decade, providing Victim Offender  Dialogues in cases of severe and violent crime, to victims/survivors whose responsible parties are incarcerated in a California State Prison. The process is initiated by the harmed party requesting a dialogue through the CDCR’s Office of Victim and Survivors’ Rights and Services (OVSRS). The VOD process is based on the nationally recognized Humanistic Approach to Mediation as taught by Mark Umbreit and David Doerfler. Insight Prison Project trains, coordinates and supervises VOD volunteer facilitators.

Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice originates from Maori in New Zealand, First Nations and other indigenous societies. It is a philosophy and social movement offering an entirely different way of thinking about crime and victimization. Our current retributive justice system focuses on punishment as a way to hold those who are responsible, accountable; regards the state as the primary victim of criminal acts, and casts the ‘victim’ and ‘offender’ in passive roles.


Restorative Justice by contrast, focuses on healing, restoration and rehabilitation. It assumes that the persons most affected by wrongdoing should have the opportunity to be actively engaged in resolving the conflict. The goal of Restorative Justice is to support the responsible party to be fully accountable for their actions, repair the harm they have caused to the greatest extent possible, and restore the broken relationship(s). Helping survivors of harm move beyond a sense of disempowerment and creating the opportunity for them to be seen, heard and actively involved in the outcome, stands in sharp contrast to the conventional focus on criminal behavior and punishment. Over the past four decades, Restorative Justice has evolved into a viable alternative within the criminal justice system to confront wrongdoing. RJ also incorporates a strong human rights analysis that emphasizes the factors of race and class in the over-incarceration of people.

Volunteer Involvement
IPP offers volunteer opportunities to facilitate dialogues in California State Prisons. New volunteers will be paired with an experienced VOD facilitator to conduct a dialogue until the case is complete. An average of 6 months to a year is a common length of involvement for most cases. This is approximately an 8 - 12 hour monthly commitment and could require day long travel depending on the location of the parties involved. Volunteers are supported by IPP staff and supervised by the VOD Program Coordinator and IPP Programs Director / Clinical Supervisor.

Please note that due to a variety of factors, not all training participants will be selected as VOD volunteers.



VOD Training Objectives

  • Learn the fundamentals of IPP's philosophy, methodology and facilitation techniques
  • Understand your role as an IPP VOD volunteer facilitator 
  • Learn the underlying frame work and principles of a VOD
  • Understand the VOD manual curriculum and the 3 stages of the VOD process
  • Learn how to work with people harmed by severe and violent crime and their specific needs and issues in preparation for the dialogue
  • Learn how to work with the responsible party of severe and violent crimes and their specific needs and issues in preparation for the dialogue
  • Learn about steps and procedures involved to set up a VOD in a State Prison
  • Gain understanding and tools to navigate the institutional culture of corrections
  • Understand the unique role of the facilitator in a VOD
  • Gain awareness of your personal strengths and challenges as a VOD facilitator


  • Training rate = $700
  • A limited number of partial scholarships are available. If requesting a scholarship, we ask applicants to include a specific dollar amount. When doing so, please give thoughtful consideration to the maximum that you are truly able to afford so that this important training remains accessible. 


Payment Information
Once you are selected to attend the training, payment in full is required 30 days prior to the training date in order to hold your space in the training. If you cancel 21 days or more in advance you will receive a full refund minus a $25 service charge. If you cancel with 20 days or less notice, you are not entitled to a cash refund. However, as a courtesy, we will allow you to apply your payment toward a future IPP training within one year from the date you cancel. Please note that if you do not attend and you do not cancel as described above, you are responsible for the entire payment. Please also note that we can not guarantee that another training will be offered during that year.

Have questions about Victim Offender Dialogue Mediator Training for Severe and Violent Crimes? Contact Insight Prison Project

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When & Where

Insight Prison Project
2171 Francisco Boulevard East
Suite #H
San Rafael, CA 94901

Monday, April 24, 2017 at 8:00 AM - Friday, April 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM (PDT)

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Insight Prison Project

IPP was founded in 1997 with one class for 14 male prisoners at San Quentin State Prison. Today, IPP offers unique and effective restorative justice programs for men, women, and youth at 13 state prisons, one federal prison, three county jails, several reentry facilities, and one juvenile institution. Our core program is the Victim/Offender Education Group (VOEG), which includes a 52+ week curriculum that was designed by licensed mental health therapists in collaboration with survivors of violent crimes and incarcerated offenders. IPP provides highly trained facilitators and creates a space with VOEG that allows victims and offenders an opportunity to work together, which dramatically aids in the healing process for everyone involved and enhances public safety by greatly reducing recidivism. In addition to VOEG, Insight Prison Project offers a certified violence prevention class, critical thinking courses, professional crisis-intervention training, a therapeutic artistic ensemble, and pre-parole training. At San Quentin alone, IPP offers 24 regular core classes to approximately 300 prisoners for over 2,000 hours of self-development and self-management activities annually.

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Victim Offender Dialogue Mediator Training for Severe and Violent Crimes
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