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Victim Offender Dialogue Program

Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD)

The Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) program enables victims/survivors the ability to meet with their offenders face-to-face in a safe and secure environment to discuss how the crime has affected them and their loved ones, and to ask questions only the offender can answer. The Wyoming VOD program is a victim-centered program that can provide a pathway to a sense of further healing and justice for those that choose to participate. It can offer victims the chance to give voice and feel heard while getting some answers, and give offenders an opportunity to better understand the devastating effects of their actions and to take responsibility for those actions. Only victims can initiate the process and either party may discontinue participate at any time during the process.

This program may not be for all victims, but for certain victims/survivors of severe violence this program can be a very empowering experience. With thorough preparation with a trained facilitator, this program can be very effective for both the victim and the offender. Both victim and offender participants in previous VODs report gains in their own healing, recovery, and rehabilitation.

The purpose of the VOD program is to provide victims of felony crime the opportunity to participate in a structured face-to-face meeting with their offender in a safe and structured setting. Goals for the program are to:
  • provide victims the opportunity to address the trauma of their victimization with their offenders, and to ask questions and receive answers which only offenders can provide. 
  • provide offenders the opportunity to take responsibility for their behavior, to learn the full impact of their actions, and express remorse related to their offense and its resulting impact, and to answer questions for the purpose of personal assistance for the victim.

Why would a victim want to meet with an offender?

Victims/Survivors often have questions about the crime, the offenders thinking, about their lost loved one, or other questions they wish they could have the answer to.
Why did you do it?
What happened before and during the crime?
Was my loved one in pain?
Why did you decide to drive that night?
Are you sorry?
What were my loved one’s last words?

These are questions that only offenders are able to answer.

Victims may want to tell the offender how their lives and the lives of their family have been affected by the crime and how they feel about what happened.

Victims often want to see the offender for themselves what kind of person the offender has become, and whether he or she is sorry.

Most victims who participate in dialogues with their offenders find that the process moves them forward in their journey towards healing.

The following are quotes from victims in regards to their participation in the WY VOD program:

    "Key to opening up and not holding on the negative things anymore."

    "Life and attitude changer."

    "Through my participation, I conquered that hill."

    "I would highly recommend all victims of crime to participate in the VOD program because it was so                empowering." 

    "Instead of dreading my lost loved one's life, I now am able to celebrate it."

Why would an offender agree to participate in a dialogue?

Many offenders are sincerely remorseful for their crimes and want an opportunity to apologize to their victims.

Answering the victim’s questions and providing information about the crime is one way offenders can demonstrate personal accountability and attempt to make amends.

How does victim offender dialogue work?

Once a victim requests a victim offender dialogue, the VOD Program Manager will contact the offender’s caseworker and the facility CEO to consider criteria for the offender’s participation. Once cleared, the offender is contacted to determine participation, and if the offender agrees to participate, preparation begins.

A trained facilitator meets several times separately with the victim and offender. Preparation takes months due to the intense nature as well as the long travel distances for preparation with both parties. Preparation meetings can occur in person, via video or telephone. Once all parties are fully prepared, a face-to-face meeting occurs at the facility where the offender is located.

How do I know if a Victim Offender Dialogue is for me?

The VOD Program Manager can help. The WY VOD program usually does not allow dialogues in domestic violence or stalking cases due to the risk that the offender would intimidate or exert power over the victim. The program manager may decide that a dialogue is not appropriate due to risk of physical or emotional harm to anyone involved.

What if I change my mind?

Any of the parties may decide at any time to discontinue the VOD process.

Offenders rarely discontinue the process once they have agreed to participate. Victims sometimes process their feelings during the preparation phase and discover they do not need to go forward with the dialogue.

Click here for the Victim Offender Dialogue Brochure.

To request a Victim Offender Dialogue with an offender, contact:
VOD Program Manager
Wyoming Board of Parole
Email: Contact Us

Victim Services Coordinator: 
Randi Losalu:

Phone: (307)-777-5390