Mediators help people have difficult conversations

Our History - Since 1984, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program of Polk County has provided an alternative to punitive justice. Restorative justice holds offenders accountable for their actions, assists them to take responsibility for their choices and gives them the opportunity to express regret and to make things right for their victims. If victims are willing to participate they have the opportunity to describe their losses, share their feelings and seek restitution. Through face to face mediation offenders realize that the crimes they commit impact specific people, not just property, and that their crimes break relationship with the communities they live in. Victims experience restoration to wholeness as they hear someone accept responsibility, express regret and work with them to reach an agreement to make things right. Facts, feelings and questions about the crime are discussed and both the victim and offender, assisted by a trained volunteer mediator, negotiate a contract of restitution. 94% of these VORP contracts are successfully completed because victims have a direct say in what restitution looks like and offenders are held directly accountable to their victim. Cases are referred to our program by the courts, Polk County Juvenile Department., and Sanction Court.


In addition to Victim Offender mediation, Community Mediation Services of Polk County provides family and community / neighbor-to- neighbor mediations, taking informal self-referrals, and formal referrals from law enforcement and interested or involved parties, helping the disputants resolve their conflicts. We help people have difficult conversations. We also provide dispute/conflict resolution training in local schools, businesses, churches and other interested groups. We rely heavily on our volunteer mediators who receive Basic mediation training. All of our mediators meet or exceed the standards established and defined by Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 571, Division 100."