Some Reasons Offenders Participate in VOD in Crimes of Severe Violence
An opportunity to finally express remorse and regret directly.
A chance to give voice to the unrelenting feelings of guilt.
A chance to give voice to the unrelenting feelings of shame.
A chance to give voice to the unrelenting feelings of disgust.
A chance to hear and understand more about exactly how he or she destroyed or devastated the lives of the victim and survivor(s).
A chance to see and understand how his/her own experience of the event is very different from what the victim/survivor experienced.
A chance to try and explain how unexpected his/her capacity for violence had been to him/her — if it was.
A chance to try to be more personally accountable to the victim/survivor in his or her attempts at doing some authentic “good” with his/her life — even while in prison.
A wish to respond to any questions or requests from the victim/survivor that he/she can.
A wish to attempt anything that might be possible to make some sort of amends for what he/she did, though nothing in the world can ever make up for it.
A hope that talking with the victim/survivor will provide him/her with a chance to finally be as completely honest with the victim/survivor as it is possible to be.
A wish to finally “do the right thing” for the victim/survivor.
As one incarcerated offender expressed it following the VOD in a murder case, “I’m not sure I’d see much reason to be a better person if you simply wished the worst for me… Since all the conversations with Jon, and the VOD with you, I want to actually do good things with my life.”