FACTS (about your participation)
- All participants in a VOC proceeding are required to sign this Participation Agreement as well as the VOC Confidentiality Agreement. By signing these documents, you agree that you understand the process and waive any objection to any of the terms thereof.
- The VOC asks that all communications between participants throughout the conference process remain confidential. It is asked that parties not share any oral or written information presented during the conference with anyone not present at the proceedings (i.e. family members, neighbors, etc.). This request is separate from, but in addition to the Kentucky statutes and case laws governing this process mentioned in the VOC Confidentiality Agreement. The VOC confidentiality principle stated here was created to promote open communication between parties and facilitate the settlement disputes. The Henderson County Attorney’s Office/VOC bears no responsibility for enforcement, if a party breaches this good faith confidentiality agreement.
- Victims are free to withdraw from the proceedings at any time. Withdrawal is discouraged. It is our belief that even though it is a difficult task to express and hear each other’s feelings and concerns, it can be very beneficial to resolve the situation. We ask that you enter the process committed to open discussion.
- Minors must discuss withdrawal with their CDW before withdrawing from the VOC process.
- Any participant who wishes to bring a witness, attorney, or any other person, who is not a party to the dispute, must receive prior authorization from the VOC Coordinator handling their case prior to the scheduled mediation. These “invitees” would not have a direct role in the VOC Conference. Parties have the right to have an attorney present during the VOC Conference process; however, the conference is not a judicial proceeding. The other party must agree to any additional persons attending the proceeding who do not have a direct connection to the crime. VOC Coordinators may prevent witnesses, attorneys and others from participating in the conference if the other party did not agree in advance, or if the VOC Coordinator did not authorize their presence.
- Unless specifically scheduled to participate, please do not bring children to the proceedings.
There is a moral factor and a legal factor.
● The moral part includes an understanding that any discussion of the process with people, who aren’t directly involved in the conference, and not present at the conference, endangers the entire effort. If that happened, participants would be less willing to be open and honest.
● The legal part includes Kentucky Rule of Evidence§408. Anything discussed, prepared for, or written during the conference cannot be used later in court as evidence unless specifically agreed to by the parties.
- VOC Confidentiality Agreements are reviewed and signed during the first interview meeting.