The Victim-Offender Reconciliation model was developed in Ontario, Canada, in 1974. Similar projects developed in the U.S., Britain, Europe, and Australia thereafter, with many hundreds of community programs now in existence throughout the world. Some of these programs have an explicitly religious foundation, developed through the work of Mennonites, Quakers, and others. Other models draw on traditional reconciliation practices of various aboriginal and ethnic communities. More recently, restorative justice models such as victim-offender dialogue, group conferencing, and sentencing circles have been incorporated directly into the structures of criminal justice agencies. Interest in restorative models for school conflict and discipline is also growing.
San Luis Valley VORP began as a victim-offender dialogue project under Mountain Trails Youth Ranch in late 1994, with assistance from Mennonite Voluntary Service. In August 1995, the program formed its own board and received independent 501(c)(3) non-profit status. At this time, the name was established as San Luis Valley Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program. Case referrals from Probation and Juvenile Diversion began in September 1995. SLV-VORP was a community-based, rather than criminal justice system program, drawing on volunteers from throughout the Valley communities. In 1999, SLV-VORP began a second program area, School Initiatives, which provides training and consulting for K-12 schools in conflict management, peer mediation, and restorative disciplinary alternatives.
Beginning in 2005, SLV-VORP participated in a three-year Bullying Prevention Initiative with The Colorado Trust. Throughout this time, the agency expanded its involvement with schools and after-school sites in the Valley. During this time, a pilot project was also initiated to offer Parent-Teen mediation services.
In 2008, SLV-VORP changed its name to the Center for Restorative Programs in order to more accurately represent its wide range of services.
In January of 2009 the Center for Restorative Programs moved to its new home at 714 3rd Street, downtown Alamosa.
P.O. Box 1775, Alamosa, CO 81101
info (at) restorativeprograms (dot) org