Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

NEWS RELEASE 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 1999

Lieutenant Governor O’Connor Commemorates Victims’ Rights Week

(Columbus)-Today, Lt. Governor Maureen O’Connor and Reginald A. Wilkinson, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) publicly announced DRC’s victim-offender dialogue process. The announcement was held in conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 25-May 1, 1999).

"We are pleased to be able to highlight DRC’s program of victim-offender dialogue. Through the dialogue process, survivors become an active participant in the criminal justice system. As a result, offenders begin to understand the harm they have caused their victims, their communities, their own families and themselves," stated Lt. Governor Maureen O’Connor.

This communication exchange allows the victim to express feelings surrounding the crime and the aftermath. It also provides a vehicle for the offender to express remorse and other emotions. DRC is one of three adult corrections departments in the nation providing victims of violent crime the opportunity to meet with the offender to discuss the offense. To date, DRC has conducted thirteen victim-offender dialogues. Trained facilitators conduct these sessions.

"During the past two years, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction has worked to embrace the philosophy of community justice," stated Director Wilkinson. "One of the many facets of community justice is to encourage equal participation of the victim, the community and offenders in the justice process."

Director Wilkinson also presented the media with a revised copy of DRC’s victim impact statement. This statement is used for pre-sentence investigations, offender background investigations and parole/probation violation reports. The impact statement is a tool that gives the victim an opportunity to relay information regarding physical, psychological, and financial information as it relates to the crime. The impact statement will serve as a benchmark for victims programs and for prosecutors’ offices throughout the state.

For further information please contact the DRC Public Information Office at (614) 752-1150.