The Restorative Justice Project (RJP) was created in 1987 to serve victims and survivors in the aftermath of serious crimes. Through its victim-offender dialogue program, RJP offers the opportunity for victim survivors and their relatives to meet with and have questions answered by the individual who committed a crime against them.
Victim-Offender Dialogue Program
In the past decade alone, RJP has facilitated over 100 victim-offender dialogues (VOD) and served more than 200 victims and survivors in this process of meeting with their offender. RJP also educates the students and community, provides creative alternatives to traditional criminal justice system, and advances criminal justice policy.
The program facilitates VODs regarding a range of serious and sensitive crimes, including but not limited to:
- Reckless and Negligent Homicide
- Homicide by Intoxicated User
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Assault of a Child
- Child Abuse
- Domestic Violence
- Kidnapping/False Imprisonment
- Robbery & Armed Robbery
RJP is also committed to evolving the criminal justice system and serving the community. In 2013, RJP launched initiatives to engage with the Dane County community and beyond to transform justice, develop alternatives to the traditional legal system, promote restorative practices, and reduce racial disparity in the criminal justice system.
Projects that RJP and its students have been involved in include:
- Dane County Community Restorative Court
- Youth Court
- Restorative Practices in Madison Metropolitan School District
- Restorative Justice Prison Programs
- Developing Restorative Justice Alternatives to Prosecution
- Restorative Justice in Reentry Housing
- Organizational Support Circles
- Diversity Dialogue
- Legislation Research
If you are a victim/survivor of crime and would like more information about the possibility of meeting with the offender, or for more information about any of our restorative justice services, please contact Jonathan Scharrer, project director. Fill out the service request form or learn more about VOD.
Information for Law Students
RJP introduces students to restorative practices in the criminal justice system and the community. In addition to prison-based programming, students have opportunities address conflict and harm in neighborhoods and schools. Students provide positive alternatives to the criminal justice system and take on leadership roles by collaborating with community groups, nonprofits, and schools to craft restorative responses to crime, violence, and other complex issues. Learn more about the clinical experience and community projects.