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The OAR Impact of Crime program is an educational and rehabilitative program designed to assist offenders in taking responsibility for the crimes that they have committed. Impact of Crime is based on the concept of restorative justice. Offenders who voluntarily participate in the program develop a greater understanding of the profound effect their crimes have had on the lives of victims and on the community. This understanding effects their future decisions and encourages them to repair the harm their actions have caused.

The OAR Impact of Crime program began in 1998 and is currently offered to male and female inmates housed at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. Impact of Crime is an 8-week program consisting of classroom study, volunteer presentations, and individual readings and assignments.

During each session of Impact of Crime, classroom material is presented about specific topics of crime to include property crime, assault, sexual assault, drunk driving, robbery, drug use and distribution, domestic violence, violent crime, and child maltreatment. The class is designed to expose offenders to the full range of consequences of crimes by showing them how the victim feels and discusses how others, including family members, may be affected by the crime. The class involves personal presentations by victims of crimes who describe how their victimization has affected their lives. The sharing of personal circumstances dramatically demonstrates to the inmate participants the true pain and hurt that is caused by senseless criminal acts. IOC challenges the offenders to face the impact of their crime and accept responsibility for their actions.

The class concludes with the inmates producing a community service project. This project becomes a symbolic act of restitution that the student inmates offer to the community. Examples of projects that have been completed include a video designed to inform the public about crime, a poster designed to discourage drinking and driving and Public Service Announcements shared with George Mason University to discourage drug and alcohol use among students.

Have you been a victim of crime? Would you like to help break the cycle of crime by educating offenders about the impact of crime? Would you like someone to contact you with more information? If so, please click here.

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