It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Center for Community Peacemaking’s web site, formally LAVORP (Lancaster Area Victim Offender Reconciliation Program). In 1995, LAVORP, a Restorative Justice program, was granted Articles of Incorporation to “bring victims and offenders together for reconciliation and healing.” That journey of Victim-Offender Conferencing started with youth being referred by Juvenile Probation. In 2000, Youth Aid Panels started making referrals. In recent times referrals have been coming from the District Attorney’s Office, Defense Attorneys, and directly from members of the community.
During the intervening years three other programs have been added. Making Peace (Strategies in Conflict Resolution) offers youth an opportunity to learn skills that will help keep them from repeating their contact with the justice system and to work closely with their parents to enhance their relationships. Peacemaking Circles was added to offer the broader community a means of honoring each participant and allowing them to resolve conflict in a way that common values are understood which leads to more peaceful solutions. Most recently, Circles of Support and Accountability was created to significantly reduce the recidivism (70%, according to evidenced based research) of high risk sexual offenders. This program has been patterned after the very successful fifteen year and four year programs in Canada (under the auspices of the Mennonite Community) and Fresno, CA, respectively.
The above programs help to reduce recidivism and victimization, thus changing lives and helping to make our communities safer. As opportunities arise, we look forward to adding other Restorative Justice initiatives
With the broader approach to Restorative Justice as just described, it became obvious that the name LAVORP was no longer relevant. And, that is why we are now known as the Center for Community Peacemaking.
If you are visiting this web site because you are curious about who we are, please continue to browse. And, if you are looking for an opportunity to reach out into your community to enhance your quality of life and that of others, then please continue your journey by clicking on the “ Volunteer Opportunities “ to the left, as you will find something that will challenge you for some time to come.
Again, welcome and
Jon A. Singer
Center for Community Peacemaking