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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

Faculty Examine Restorative Justice Impact on Crime Victims

October 11, 2016


The focus of one of the Grand Challenges relates to the field of criminal justice. High-Risk Victim Offender Dialogue (HR-VOD) is a restorative justice practice that gives victims of serious, violent crimes the opportunity to resolve trauma and attain an increased sense of justice. GSSW congratulates Assistant Professor Shannon Sliva on her recent National Institute of Justice grant award, funding a three-year study to determine the impact that HR-VOD has on victims of crimes whose offenders are currently under the supervision of a Colorado correctional facility or community agency. Study results will inform effective practice in criminal justice systems. 

Sliva serves as principal investigator for the study, "Impact of Victim Offender Dialogue on Victims of Serious Crimes: A Longitudinal Cohort-Control Study." Karen Albright, GSSW affiliated faculty and an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, is co-investigator. Their research will compare the well-being of victims who participate in a facilitated restorative justice dialogue with their offenders to the well-being of victims who did not participate.

The study design addresses the limitations of prior research on HR-VOD by using a control group, tracking longitudinal outcomes at three points in time and incorporating validated measures of victims' Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, trauma and well-being.

This community-engaged study is made possible through a GSSW partnership with the Colorado Restorative Justice Council, the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Division of Youth Corrections, the Chief Probation Officer's Council and the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance.