A High Risk/Impact Victim Offender Dialogue (HRVOD) is a unique restorative justice process that serves Survivors/Victims of high impact crimes. All participation in HRVOD is voluntary. Cases of HRVOD include, but are not limited to, the following crimes of violence: Murder in the first degree, Murder in the second degree, Manslaughter, Criminally negligent homicide, Vehicular assault, Assault in the first degree, Assault in the second degree, Assault in the third degree, Vehicular homicide, Menacing, First degree kidnapping, Second degree kidnapping, Robbery, Aggravated robbery and Child abuse. Cases that involve domestic violence and sexual assault may be considered only when victim initiated and approved by the agency or institution working with the offender/inmate. Cases considered for High Risk/Impact Victim Offender Dialogue (HRVOD) must be victim initiated in Colorado.

Since 2011, the Colorado Department of Corrections and the Division of Youth Corrections have been able to provide High Risk/Impact Victim Offender Dialogue (HRVOD) within corrections settings. These unique processes of restorative justice practices work in conjunction with or within the criminal justice system. Many times the restorative justice process in HRVOD cases occurs after sentencing and often much later into the punishment phase.

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The facilitators should ensure the process is victim centered and offender sensitive. Facilitators for HRVOD processes are specifically trained (minimum 40 hours of HRVOD specific training approved by the agency supporting the dialogue) to support victims/survivors and offenders throughout the preparation, HRVOD process and beyond. The facilitators should be approved by the agency, organization or institution within which the offender is associated. Or in the event there is no current association, the facilitators should be in the RJ Directory and trained in HRVOD, as well as practicing by the CO Facilitator Code of Conduct and Standards or Training and Practice.

What it may look like: After extensive preparation by the facilitators the parties and their support people come together at a designated time and location. The facilitators work with facilities to ensure the safety for all participants and confidentiality of the HRVOD meeting. These meetings often take 4-8 hours. The victim/survivor has this unique opportunity to release the emotions they have been carrying and ask questions they have previously been denied the opportunity to ask.

Understanding that victims may not always wish to meet face-to-face with the person who committed a violent crime, options may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A victim may wish to ask questions of the offender. If the offender is willing to participate, the facilitator will work with the victim in understanding their needs and clarifying the questions that will best meet those needs. The questions can be given to an offender by the facilitator who will then share the results with the victim.
  • A victim may wish to write a statement. If the offender is willing to receive a statement, the facilitator will work with the victim to ensure the statement accurately reflects what he/she would like to say. The facilitator will share the statement with the offender and share follow-up results with the victim.
  • A victim may appoint a representative of his/her choice to participate in the HRVOD. The facilitator would work with both the victim and his/her appointed representative in preparing for the dialogue.
  • An offender of a similar crime may be selected to meet with a victim who initiated the request.
  • Any surrogate should be chosen by the victim, at the request of the victim and have been fully prepared by the facilitator. 

Several successful HRVODs have taken place in Colorado since 2011, with survivors/victims gaining a sense of satisfaction and healing and offenders experiencing a new level of remorse and transformation. There are experienced facilitators and practitioners around the state that may offer support for HRVOD.

For Department of Corrections cases contact:

Monica Chambers: office (719) 226-4703  Email:monica.chambers@state.co.us

For Division of Youth Corrections cases contact:

Spiro Koinis: office (720) 810-3003  Email:spiro.koinis@state.co.us

Restorative Justice In The Justice System Works