Resolve to Stop the Violence (RSVP)

Resolve to stop the violence is a manualized form of treatment that targets violent offenders (i.e.- Robbery & Assault). The main goal of RSVP is to de-construct the male role belief system. The treatment works to develop skills necessary to identify starting points of violence and breaks down one’s cycle of violence (“separating the cycle”) during facilitated  group discussions. This particular program is unique in that the group is run by a facilitator who has completed the RSVP program themselves. Staff is always present and helps to train the vacillators’ but does not play the central role of treatment.

There are four main steps that are completed during the course of treatment:

1)Self Realization- inmates who are veterans in this program confront newcomers about their violent behavior and help them to own up to it (admission of violence)

2)Victim Impact- victims of violent crimes describe in vivid detail how that crime has devastated their lives  (restorative justice component)

3)Artistic expression through drama- written and played by inmates about their own real life violence

4)Return to the community/continued support (aftercare)-participation in a post-release program


Gilligan, J. & Lee, B. (2005) The Resolve to Stop the Violence Project: reducing violence in the community using a jail-based initiative. Journal of Public Health , 27 (2) 143-148.

Lee, B & Gilligan, J. (2005) The Resolve to Stop the Violence Project: transforming an in-house culture of violence through a jail-based programme, Journal of Public Health , 27 (2) 149-155.

Tolchin, S & Hochman, V. (2008) For Immediate Release: Westchester County Launches Unusual Jail Program for Violent Inmates.