Criminal OWI

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Referral-based session

A focused intervention session for addressing criminal and multiple offense OWI charges in conjunction with Victim Impact Panel attendance. The topic-specific Victim Empathy session provides education, awareness, self-assessment and strategies for positive behavior change. All participants complete and sign a Restorative Justice agreement to commit to better, safer behavior. The group works through curriculum within a group dialogue process, focusing on personal accountability. Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel is required.

Program Rating 95%
95% rated the session as good or excellent.

The OWI session works with individuals referred for criminal or multiple-offense OWIs. Each group is provided with standard structure and curriculum. Respectful participation is required, and each individual reflects on the incident they were referred for. Groups work together to discuss their personal experiences and develop individualized plans to move forward.

All individuals are required to attend a Victim Impact Panel. Additional sessions may be required by the referring agency.

2016 Data

0% 26-45
14% 21-25 years old | 24% 46 or older
0% currently in abstinence
from alcohol.


0% “definite” change
95% report they will change some aspect of their behavior as a result of the session
0% believe the session will help them reduce risks

All data has been anonymously summarized from self-assessment forms completed at-will by session participants. This data is from a small group of individuals who participated in special-topic Victim Empathy sessions for multiple/criminal OWI offenses.

Restorative Justice uses a group dialogue process to actively engage participants in addressing the real consequences of impaired driving. Our services follow a structured format that is tuned to each group to meet individuals where they are at, providing an intervention for dangerous driving behaviors and promoting engagement in other court-ordered programming and AODA services.

Individuals impacted by impaired driving crashes and victim advocates may be involved in the process in addition to community stakeholders. Focusing on harm reduction, all participants are asked what they can commit to doing to keep themselves and our community safer.

This a special-topic Victim Empathy session. To promote active engagement and allow constructive time to work through key issues, groups are limited to six referred participants. All participants complete an anonymous self-assessment before and after the session to reflect on their experiences and behaviors, and to cement safety planning.

Alcohol and controlled-substance abuse may be a concern, and participants may currently be in sobriety because of court-requirements or personal choice. About 50% of participants reported that they currently practice abstinence from alcohol.

By utilizing dialogue and the Victim Impact Panel, participants additionally address:

  • Seatbelt use
  • Distracted driving
  • Passenger safety and restrictions
  • Night driving
  • Speeding
  • Anger and road rage
  • Motorcycle safety
  • Pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Fixed objects and wildlife

The ultimate goal of SCV Restorative Justice services is to work together with other community efforts to prevent and intervene risky behaviors that ultimately influence traumatic harm, including traffic fatalities. We provide intervention points to at-risk populations in response to dangerous and risky behavior.

Our sessions address topics based on the experiences and concerns of the individuals in each particular group. While an individual may be referred for one specific issue, impaired driving, the session addresses a myriad of concerns, frequently including alcohol abuse and poisoning, and the risks of using controlled substances. Restorative Justice focuses on accountability and a commitment to positive behavioral change and safety planning before situations or habits escalate or further harm is done.

In collaboration with community efforts public safety can be improved and individuals can live healthier lives. Staff and volunteer stakeholders can share community resources if individuals express that they have challenges that require additional aid or that are not currently being addressed, such as addiction, PTSD or thoughts of suicide. Individuals completing drug court or probation may also choose to continue attending sessions with Restorative Justice to maintain accountability and support.