Conference Trains Facilitators to Help Heal Crime Victims

Posted: June 17, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

A new training program in restorative justice from the Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS) offers a way to help crime victims in their healing process. NVMS is a regional mediation service hosted by George Mason through the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Participants in the restorative conferencing workshops, scheduled for June 28-30, will learn how to create a safe space for dialogue among the victims, offenders, and their support systems involved in a crime. The registration deadline is June 19.

Phyllis Turner Lawrence, former coordinator of the Prince William County Restorative Justice Program, will conduct the training. Lawrence is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Justice Restorative Justice Academy.

The conference trains facilitators in the principles of restorative justice and applications in criminal and juvenile cases, as well as in schools and workplace settings; offers practice in the preparation for and facilitation of victim-offender (V-O) restorative conferences and helps familiarize facilitators with several formats for V-O encounters; aids participants in gaining greater understanding of the impacts of crime; and explores the state of restorative justice efforts in the region.

Those attending the conference will be eligible for continuing education units in general mediation, family mediation, and ethics hours, as well as Virginia Bar continuing legal education credits. To register, contact Erika at x33724 or For more information, visit the NVMS web site.

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