March 11, 2014
The Blue Ridge Restorative Justice program in Staunton is looking for a few good volunteers. The program helps young non-violent offenders turn their lives around and make amends with their victims.
The program is starting a new service called The Victim Impact Panel. The panel will provide a forum for crime victims to tell a group of offenders about the impact of the crimes on their lives.
The purpose of the panel is for the victims to speak, rather than for the victims and offenders to engage in a dialogue. Officials want the offenders to understand the impact of their crimes on the victims and the community.
"This gives them an opportunity to say I am guilty, I want to make some repair to the damage, I want to straighten out my life and I want to be responsible from now on," said Jack Pettyjohn of Blue Ridge Court Restorative Justice Program.
If you are a crime victim and would like to volunteer for the Victim Impact Panel, you can contact David Pastors at 886-1008.
The Blue Ridge Restorative Justice Program has served more than 260 offenders since receiving its first case four years ago.