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Facilitated Dialogue

Introduction

Facilitated Dialogue brings together a victim/survivor of a violent crime and the offender who committed the crime—giving victims and survivors the opportunity to share how the crime has affected their lives and ask questions to which they have never been given answers. 

It is an opportunity for the offender to recount the crime in their own words, hear firsthand the consequences of their actions, and ultimately accept responsibility for those actions.

A Victim/Survivor-Centered Approach

The Facilitated Dialogue Program is a victim-initiated and victim-driven process. The process can only be initiated by a victim who makes contact with Oregon Department of Corrections Victim Services Office.

All requests for dialogue are carefully assessed by Victim Services in collaboration with an advisory committee to determine if the case is appropriate to move forward. The victim or offender can stop the process at anytime if either party does not wish to continue.

Key Components of Facilitated Dialogue

  • The process is initiated and driven by the victim/survivor.
  • Participation is voluntary for both parties.
  • The inmate's cooperation and participation will have no impact or influence on their sentence or privileges under the control of Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC).
  • The Facilitated Dialogue Program Advisory Committee monitors and evaluates all aspects of this process, advising the program coordinator and facilitators at critical junctures.
  • Dialogues are facilitated by highly skilled and professionally trained volunteers with backgrounds in related fields, and a DOC program coordinator aids participants, institutional liaisons, facilitators, participants’ support persons, and care providers.
  • Facilitated dialogue processes are confidential unless all participants agree otherwise in writing.
  • Pre-dialogue preparation, including careful screening of participants, working with institutional liaisons to ensure safety, and identifying appropriate support networks is a critical part of the process and can take months or even years to complete.
  • Post-dialogue follow-up and assistance accessing appropriate after-care are provided.

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