Healing the Harm

No one can undo what happened, but there’s a process that can help you.

Advoz helps those who have been harmed by violence and/or crime. In a process called restorative justice, you are invited to ask questions and have your concerns addressed directly by those responsible. The vast majority of crime victims have said that this process has helped them move on and would recommend it to others.

How does this process work? 

You can have your say. Through our Restorative Justice Dialogue program, you can ask to talk about an outcome that speaks to your needs as well as an opportunity to work out an agreement with the offender about the consequences. This will also provide an opportunity for you to have your questions answered.

If you have been harmed in a juvenile crime incident that’s been referred to Lancaster County Juvenile Probation, your case will probably be referred to our Restorative Justice Dialogue program by a probation officer and the juvenile court. You can also call our program coordinator to confirm that we have received the referral or wait until the case manager calls you.

If the person responsible for the crime is known to you, you can begin this process by calling our case manager to see if your particular incident qualifies for our Restorative Justice Dialogue program.

What happens next?

  1. Your case will be assigned a professionally trained Advoz facilitator who will contact you to schedule time to meet with you and your family.
  2. You talk with the facilitator about the incident, your reactions and your needs, and explore if and how a dialogue with offender might help you. Many crime victims discover they have needs they didn’t realize in this exploratory conversation.
  3. You will have an opportunity to proceed in a way that involves you and the other person with a facilitator.
  4. If you and the other person voluntarily agree to meet, you will participate in a facilitated face-to-face dialogue.

Is the process safe?

Yes. Emotional and physical safety is a priority. A face-to-face dialogue will take place only if:

  • You are comfortable meeting with the other person.
  • The facilitator has determined there is no potential harm or risk to either person
  • Both sides agree to be respectful and not cause any harm to the other person.

Restorative justice dialogue sessions take place in a publicly accessible location. You will also talk with the other person about what you need to ensure safety in the future.

Do I need to meet with the person who harmed me?

No. Meeting with the other person is not a requirement. Being involved in this process is voluntary. At any point you are able to end the process. Many people have found facilitated face-to-face dialogue to be valuable for their own healing; approximately 90% of crime victims report satisfaction and closure in follow up surveys. However, this program may not be for everyone. Please call us to discuss options for your particular incident.

How will this process help me?

Advoz works with nearly 200 cases each year to help people “make things right” after they were harmed. 90% of those participating say that it helped them. Here is one such case

Being involved in Victim-Offender Conferencing will help you:

  • Learn why the crime happened.
  • Tell the other person how their behavior has affected you.
  • Get answers to your questions.
  • Reduce your fear of the crime being repeated.
  • Develop and further your healing process.
  • Influence the other person to refrain from further criminal actions by giving them an opportunity to learn from their experience.

Call to find out how to get started:

Phone: (717) 397-2404, Monday-Friday, 9 AM – 4:30 PM.

Email: restorativejustice@advoz.org

Advoz does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or age. Advoz does not retaliate against persons who file a complaint about discrimination or participate in a discrimination proceeding. .