Founder & Director, JUST Alternatives – VOD Facilitator and Trainer
Jon Wilson is founder and director of JUST Alternatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to supporting victims/survivors of violence, violation, and exploitation, and to the advancement of promising victim-centered practices in justice and corrections. He has been a Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) facilitator with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services Division and the Victim Service offices of the Maine Department of Corrections, the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, and the Vermont Department of Corrections. Jon was trained in facilitating victim offender dialogues in crimes of severe violence by David Doerfler and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victim Services staff, as well as by Karin Ho, Victim Services Coordinator for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and by Dr. Mark Umbreit at the University of Minnesota. He has also trained with David Gustafson and Sandra Bergen of Fraser River Community Justice Initiatives in British Columbia, and Howard Zehr and Tammy Krause at Eastern Mennonite University. Jon has attended the National Victim Assistance Academy, and he has trained in the area of predatory and extremely violent crime victimization with such experts as retired FBI profiler Roy Hazelwood and psychologist Dr. Anna Salter.
Jon is especially committed to providing support to victims/survivors of severe violence and violation, and to thoroughly victim-centered approaches to helping them to find a sense of healing and justice, including through facilitated VOD. He understands the needs of victims/survivors who have been traumatized, especially in cases of homicide, and in cases of sexual assault or exploitation, and he is familiar with the challenges they face in surviving and thriving. During the VOD preparation process his deep support for survivors is matched by his sensitive work with offenders as they come to a more personal understanding of the impacts of their crimes, and to the accountability their survivors expect.
In an effort to broaden his understanding of why offenders commit the violent crimes they do, he co-facilitated, from 2000-2004, an inmate education and self-examination program at the Maine State Prison. In 2001, the Governor of Maine appointed Jon to the Maine State Prison Board of Visitors, an oversight and advisory group, on the strength of his victim-centered commitment to corrections and rehabilitation issues. He was the Chairman of the Board of Visitors from 2004 – 2015.
In addition to VOD case facilitation, Jon presents in victim- and offender-related conference and seminar venues around the country, as well as in college classes where issues of violence, victimization, accountability, justice, and healing are discussed. He has conducted, formerly with colleague David Doerfler, and now on his own, facilitator trainings for victim service and corrections professionals, clinicians, social workers, attorneys, and others interested in a victim-centered approach to VOD. He remains steadfastly committed to thoroughly victim-centered support, advocacy, and facilitation work.