Victim Impact Panel Speaker
Victim Impact Panel Speakers relate how their lives have been affected by the sudden loss or severe injury due to someone operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Victim Impact Panels are nonjudgmental, focusing on a commitment to safe driving choices. The goal of the panel is not to blame or judge the offender participants but to impact them on an emotional level, to provide a foundation and reason for positive behavior change. Speakers provide a reason to change their behavior. The panel helps offenders understand how their choice impacts their lives and the “ripple effect” in the community.
Anyone who has been the victim of an impaired or distracted driving accident can become a speaker. Restorative Justice will conduct an interview and training process to help ensure all speakers are emotionally ready to participate and will be appropriate. Both victims and offenders find that speaking on the panel is a valuable experience. Speaking can offer personal healing and a chance to make a difference.
SCV Restorative Justice works with select offender speakers. If you have questions, please contact our staff directly or email Center@SCVRestorativeJustice.org.
Offenders are referred by our partner agencies. Referrals come from local municipal and circuit courts, probation agents, AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services) and private assessment agencies, and defense attorneys. Offenders may be either adults or juveniles. Offenders pay a registration fee for the panel.
Victim Impact Panels are open to the public. Offenders may bring a driver with them to attend free of charge. Community members and local university students may attend as well.
After completing an initial interview with Restorative Justice staff and completing agency paperwork, staff will provide structured training and individual development. There are four key parts to the Restorative Narrative to lead speakers through their story.
About 2 hours per month
Victim Impact Panels are offered once a month, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Our speakers are scheduled in advance. Volunteers will not be required to speak every single month, and the other speakers that you are scheduled with will vary.
A one-year commitment is appreciated, but many of our Victim Impact Panel Speakers continue with us indefinitely.