An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.
At YouImpact, accountability is the single greatest motivation for creating our online Victim Impact program.
Created by the late Anna Redgate, her inspiration behind the online program was to connect offenders to the consequences of their choices and actions. She herself was the victim of an accident involving a repeat drunk driver, taking the life of her infant daughter. Her vow to help stop this from happening to other families meant working to help offenders connect to the selfishness and impact of their singular choice; getting behind the wheel after drinking.
Making The Connection
Driving while impaired is a selfish act, a fact many offenders don’t initially understand. Offenders who are caught driving impaired often don’t consider their personal responsibility to keeping themselves and others safe. Nor do they think of how this seemingly harmless and personal choice has a long-lasting impact on others.
The act of unaccountability begins when an offender gets behind the wheel impaired. The connection to what happens to self or others is lost.
YouImpact’s online Victim Impact program tells the powerful stories of other offenders who lost that connection too, but have now taken responsibility for their actions and are “paying it forward”. They have taken accountability.
If caught and charged with a DUI, and offender’s accountability starts with the legal process. But many offenders still do not make the connection to their bad choice, especially if they were not involved in an accident or some other tragedy.
Power of Story
At YouImpact, we have developed a Victim Impact Panel program designed to reach the offender on a personal and powerful level, through real stories. We created our online program to connect the dots for those who do not understand the impact of their choice. This is key to reducing to recidivism.
Our program is stories of offenders and victims of drunk driving. In this way, the offender can relate to the poor choices they also made, and see the powerful impact of a choice, just like theirs, impacted innocent people.
The Real Difference of youimpact.com
Participants in the YouImpact online Victim Impact Panel must follow several steps to complete the program. Upon registering and paying, or using a given code, there is a required time frame in which they must complete the program.
A series of personal security questions follows, pre-written and designed to ask specific details of their life. For example, “What street did you grow up on?” and “What is the name of your favorite pet?”.
As offenders begin the program, they view 11 individual stories of both offenders and victims. At the close of each story, one or more of their personal security questions randomly appears. First, they must answer their security question, then they must complete a series of 5-7 questions directly related to the video segment they just watched.
It’s In The Details
The YouImpact questions are purposely selected to keep program participants accountable as they work through the online program. The offender must be watching to catch minute details and facts of the stories, but they are also watching those in the stories make the connection to accountability. The questions cannot be answered by searching online or having someone take the program for them. It’s interactive and specific and requires their participation. YouImpact makes them accountable for their participation.
Offenders must accurately answer the questions in each of the 11 sections of the 120-minute online program. And they must score 100% on all questions in order to advance to the next segment. A prompt will appear when they have answered a question incorrectly and they are given the opportunity to correct it.
By starting with these small steps of accountability, we ensure the offender is connecting to the stories and the content to the program. We want this powerful content and these personal stories to sink in and dissuade offenders from repeating the action. Reducing recidivism is the goal.
We’ve created the experience in our program to be more interactive and accountable than other programs. To complete the program, they must start with the most basic form of accountability.
A Letter To Their Future
At YouImpact, we believe in the power of “Big Picture” thinking for offenders. The moving and personal stories we tell of other victims and offenders is a powerful reminder of the choice they also made. It is a call to action for them to not repeat the behavior.
In this way, offenders are required to write a letter to their future selves in the YouImpact program. They must outline what they will do differently, what they see for themselves in six months and what they got out of the YouImact program experience. Program participants are now being asked to be accountable to themselves, both now and in the future, as they write these letters.
Once completed online, their letters are mailed back to offenders six months after completion, by YouImpact.
Through program participant testimonials and reviews, we know this exercise is poignant for offenders. They are often reflective, regretful and determined to never drive impaired again. They see themselves in these stories and they are moved by the power of their choice. Many even see getting “caught” or getting their DUI as a gift or a second chance to right their wrong. They now have a personal connection to their own accountability.
We’re Accountable To You
YouImpact generates a notification and a report to each county, caseworker or attorney once an offender completes a program. A monthly report is also provided outlining the participants in each county.
In this way, we are honoring the promise of our founder, to keep offenders accountable to those in the legal system.
We’re All In This Fight
The varying levels of accountability in the YouImpact program are an effective and necessary tool for reducing recidivism. It’s why YouImpact came to exist, from the pain and power of a senseless tragedy. We want to partner with the legal system, courts and county’s fight in this battle and make real change in reducing repeat offenders.
Accountability is the key to making real change. YouImpact has designed an easy-to-use, 24/7 accessible program that can be used anytime and is available to counties all over the country.
Start today to help educate offenders on the power of making change and being accountable. Start by using YouImpact.com