JUST Alternatives

JUST Alternatives is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to supporting victims/survivors of violence and violation, and to the advancement of promising Victim-Centered practices in justice and corrections. Our mission is to identify and support effective alternative approaches to reducing violence and victimization in our culture by affirming crime victims’ needs and the power of personal accountability among violent offenders.

We know how alone some victims can feel in the aftermath of violence, violation, and grievous loss.

Our Victim/Survivor Support work is rooted in the simple power of deep, compassionate, and non-judgmental listening to victims and survivors of traumatic violence, violation, and loss. We know how alone they can feel in the unrelenting aftermath of violence, loss, and post-traumatic stress, and how hard it can be for victims/survivors to feel heard — by the justice system, by society, and even by close family and friends. We offer opportunities for survivors to feel heard through supporting conversation, correspondence, or advocacy.

Our Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) work provides safe opportunities for survivors of violence and violation to give direct and powerful voice to the unrelenting trauma of their experiences, and for violent offenders to face more fully the terrible effects of their actions. One way to think of these interactions is as Victim Impact Dialogues. While VOD is not for every survivor, our victim-centered/offender-sensitive approach can enable unique opportunities. At its very best, VOD can provide survivors with a chance to be heard directly by their offenders, and to get answers to some of their questions. This in turn can enable in offenders a more personal understanding of the impacts and effects of their crimes, a deeper sense of personal accountability, and sometimes, a change in their thinking, and a self-actualized commitment to more pro-social choices and behaviors. For answers to frequent questions about VOD, click the Victim Offender Dialogue FAQs buttons – for Survivors and/or Offenders. For more on Victim Impacts, click the Victim Impact Statements button at left.

Our VOD Facilitator Training for corrections-based Victim Service and allied agencies – anchored in an understanding of the profound effects of violence and victimization upon individuals, families, and communities – provide effective tools and skills for facilitators. For CV information on trainer Jon Wilson, Director of JUST Alternatives, see About Us.

FOR ARTICLES ON the work of JUST Alternatives, see:

       Jon Wilson Making a Difference
            –Christian Science Monitor, 4/9/2012

       The Restorer
            Yankee magazine, Jan/Feb 2011