Victim Impact Facilitator

Victim Impact Facilitator

Victim Impact Facilitator

The Boulder County Sheriff’s Office is currently recruiting volunteer facilitators who want to make a difference and believe that people can change. Work in the jail’s Impacts of Crime classes and help inmates learn to recognize the impact of their behavior on others, and how to break their cycle of offending. This work does make a difference for yourself, for others and your community. The Victim Impact curriculum from the Office for Victims of Crime will be used as a guideline for creating the syllabus https://www.ovcttac.gov/victimimpact/

Men’s classes run for 8 weeks, meeting once per week for 2 hours on Thursdays from 3:00 – 5:00 PM (times subject to change), with an additional 2 hours of preparation time prior to class. 16 hours of training will be provided. This training will be on a weekend, 8 hours on Saturday, and 8 hours on Sunday sometime in March or April, 2017. (Exact times will be determined once all positions are filled)

The Victim Impact Team consists of four Facilitators who facilitate classes in pairs. Two facilitators will facilitate an 8 week class and then the other two facilitators will facilitate the following 8 week class with the pairs rotating every other 8 weeks. Two facilitators are more effective than one when it comes to managing the group dynamic, especially for groups of 10 or more participants. While one facilitator leads the discussion, the other can monitor the group’s response and provide additional insights. There is also less chance of burnout as sole responsibility of the class does not fall to one person.

  1. Increase offender accountability for criminal actions
  2. Increase offenders’ empathy for victims and the community
  3. Help offenders identify who else is affected (ripple effect) by the offender crime
  4. Instill in offenders self-motivation to never victimize again
  5. Provide a forum for victims for share their stories and influence offender behavior

Conducting victim impact classes for the incarcerated is a team approach to preventing victimization. Several studies have looked at the effectiveness of victim impact programs across the country. A 2007 Iowa Department of Correction’s Victim Impact Report, using two evidence based studies, concluded victim impact is a contributing factor in reducing recidivism. http://www.yhtp.org/education/victim-impact/

Facilitators must both understand victim impact issues and believe offenders can change. If either of these concepts is missing, the class will be less effective. The facilitator needs to understand most offenders have experienced some kind of victimization in their past which set them on a negative path in life. However, at the same time, they must be clear that past history is never an excuse to victimize others. Although the inmate was a victim of some kind of trauma in the past, they are in prison because they became victimizers.

The facilitators should also be able to manage discussion and present opposing viewpoints without being defensive or argumentative. They must be open and inviting yet able to establish firm boundaries and respectfully confront denials, minimizations, and justifications.

The goal is to establish a rich learning environment that incorporates relevant curriculum materials, adult-centered learning principles, experiential learning opportunities, cultural sensitivity, and activities to facilitate changes in offenders’ thinking, feeling, and behavior.

Facilitators using this curriculum should have the following qualifications:

  • Knowledge of Restorative Justice practices
  • Familiarity with adult-centered, problem-based learning methods
  • Experience in organizing, presenting, and discussing complex issues
  • Ability to lead discussions and encourage exchange among participants
  • Ability to identify offenders who require further treatment to help them deal with resistant victimizing attitudes or behavior

In addition, facilitators should:

  • Approach training as a facilitator, not an instructor
  • Engage participants in discussion, critical thinking, and problem solving
  • Demonstrate a commitment to a multidisciplinary approach to training
  • Prepare thoroughly for all sessions.
  • Demonstrate flexibility, knowledge of victim issues, and believe that people can change
  • Be comfortable working in a jail environment
  • Be comfortable working with victims/survivors of crime
  • Work well with diversity
  • Keep confidentiality
  • Manage strong emotion
  • Manage conflict
  • Manage a co-facilitation relationship
  • Demonstrate knowledge/use of activities to facilitate changes in offenders thinking, feeling and behavior
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead discussions and encourage exchange among participants
  • Ability to be flexible and imaginative
  • Ability to convey the victim impact message to a variety of learning styles and abilities
  • Possess a sense of humor; ability to not take things too seriously

Volunteers

All volunteers are asked to commit to joining the team for at least one year, and attend bi-monthly meetings for 1.5 hours to debrief, review new policies, and in-service training.

If you are interested in volunteering for the above positions, please fill out the Volunteer Application Form and submit to Restorative Justice Department of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

Please submit applications to:
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office Restorative Justice/CAMP Program
5600 Flatiron Parkway
Boulder, CO 80301
OR
email: Lori Vise at lvise@bouldercounty.org
Phone: 303-441-1752
Fax: 303-441-4739

Contact Us

Victim Assistance Program

Main: 303-441-3656
Alternate: 303-441-4444
Fax: 303-441-4739

email

Location

Sheriff's Headquarters
5600 Flatiron Parkway
Boulder, CO 80301
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Website

www.bouldersheriff.org
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08:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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