Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR)
The Offender Aid and Restoration movement began in 1968 when a group of concerned citizens led by Jay Worrall, Jr. responded to a prison riot in Charlottesville, Virginia. These citizens envisioned an improved criminal justice system in which restorative justice was the driving force. They believed that incarcerated individuals could be assisted by trained volunteers from the community, and through ongoing contact with community volunteers it was hoped that they would be empowered with information and encouraged to transform their experiences toward responsible and productive lives.
The movement offered offenders alternatives to sanctioned incarceration, such as community service and instructional programs. The ultimate goal was to break the costly cycle of recidivism and create a more just system. OAR’s model community service program was incorporated as OAR/USA in 1973. Today, there are six OARs providing services through independent offices in Virginia, New Jersey, and Indiana.
OAR works with:
Individuals who have been incarcerated in the Arlington or Alexandria detention facilities;
Individuals who have been incarcerated anywhere in the country and are returning to live in Arlington, the City of Alexandria, or the City of Falls Church; and
Individuals who are mandated by the Arlington or Falls Church courts to complete community service hours.