Mediation for felony, misdemeanor and juvenile cases will get a boost thanks to a grant for a Crossville-Center.
VORP of Crossville brings victims and offenders together through mediation. VORP Community Mediation Center Executive Director Rita Young said without this grant, access to justice through mediation would not be possible.
“Even though our services are free, it is not really free to provide them,” Young said. “This funding allows us to serve the 13th judicial district in civil, juvenile and general sessions as well as criminal and community mediation.”
Young said the program has received this grant for 27 consecutive years. Last year, Crossville’s VORP handled approximately 500 cases for mediation in the 13th Judicial District.
“Restorative justice builds stronger communities, give victims back what they have lost and gives the offender a chance to make things right and saves the tax payers money,” Young said. “Mediation is something that benefits the whole community.”
The state grant comes from the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) fund. Young said seeing people work out conflicts on their own is the most rewarding part of the job.
“We really enjoy what we do,” Young said. “It is beautiful to see people settle their own disputes and come to an understanding and have peace again. The volunteers that help mediate, some of them have been here since we opened in 1988.”
The VORP Community Mediation Center in Crossville was the second established in Tennessee. It received its first eight cases from juvenile court in 1988. The center now serves Cumberland County, Clay, Overton, Putnam and White Counties with two employees and a team of volunteers.
Due to Covid-19, safe resolutions to disputes are available via teleconference mediation. Services are free, voluntary, neutral and confidential. Contact the VORP Community Mediation Center in Crossville at (931) 484-0972 or (931) 239-3417 to see if mediation is right for you or email email@example.com.
Community Mediation Center received a state grant from the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) fund.