The Office for Victims of Crime, within the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, awarded a cooperative agreement to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS), to develop a standardized victim impact curriculum for corrections. The 18-month project began on October 1, 2005.
The project team included Project Director Sharon English, Dr. Kevin "Kip" Lowe, and OVSRS staff members Jill Weston and Suzanne Neuhaus. Contracted consultants were Drs. Mario Gaboury and Christopher Sedelmaier from the University of New Haven and national expert Anne Seymour. Frankie Lemus of The Change Companies® served as the curriculum manager.
State pilot sites were California, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. The project team is indebted to state coordinators Michael Davis in Ohio, Sheryl DeMott in Tennessee, and Wendy Lohr-Hopp in Virginia. The team also thanks corrections directors James Tilton, Gene Johnson, George Little, and Terry Collins for their willingness to host this project in their facilities.
An active and insightful 15-member advisory board, which included 12 crime victims or survivors of crime, guided the curriculum development. A list of the board and the pilot site locations are included in the appendix.
The curriculum was finalized with considerable input from the offenders who participated in the classes, the instructors, and the victim speakers whose willingness and courage ensured that the materials are victim centered. We are grateful for their time and dedication. The instructors were–
- California: Laura Bowman, Chris Wittek, Felicia Jones
- Ohio: John Culp, Roxanne Swogger, Vicki Knapp, Eldie Antenuce, Bette Erwin, Martha Moore, Tammy Nevil, Jacque Sauer, Mindy Rosengarten, Debbie Hall, Tami Perez
- Tennessee: Dr. Jennie Jobe, Ricky Bunch, Dr. Sharon Taylor
- Virginia: Cynthia Smith, Cate Kaufmann
Jeralita Costa updated the current version, including statistics and trends, in 2018. Ms. Costa is the community victim liaison with the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), providing victim safety and support services.
The opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.