The SVOR (Serious Violent Offender Response) Unit is a comprehensive, targeted, and evidence-based approach intended to reduce the threat posed by high-risk violent offenders in the province of Saskatchewan.
The SVOR Unit at the Regina Police Service consists of a Sergeant, Registered Doctoral Psychologist, and administrative support. Together, they work closely with partners to help reduce the risk of re-offending while ensuring the safety of the community. The program is a collaboration between various service delivery partners that include Public Prosecutions, Community Corrections, Federal and Municipal Police Services (RCMP, Saskatoon Police Service, and Regina Police Service), and the Canadian Mental Health Association – SK Division (CMHA-SK).
In order to be considered for involvement in the SVOR program, offenders must be:
- Eighteen years of age and over, serving an adult sentence or under bail supervision
- Have either a serious violence offense as an index offense or have a history of violent offending
- An evaluation to indicate they are “High” or “Very High” risk to reoffend as assessed by a validated risk assessment tool
Eligible cases are reviewed by local case management review committees with representation by all involved partners. This committee documents the rationale for accepting or declining cases, and also reviews the status of all clients accepted into the response, provides partner updates, and makes recommendations for discharge.
Strategic and meaningful contact with offenders is an essential component of the SVOR. Contact allows for risk management for the purpose of ensuring offenders are complying with court ordered conditions. Contact also contributes toward risk reduction when used as an opportunity to intervene in areas which are contributing to criminal behavior and/or support offenders in the application of newly developed skills.
Joint contacts (two or more SVOR partners meeting with the offender for the purposes of supervision and intervention) may have additional purposes and benefits including:
- Demonstrating the concept of a “team approach” within the SVOR Unit
- Supporting the offender and SVOR partners in working collaboratively to apply consistent messages and integrated interventions
- Increasing safety for partners, particularly when meeting in the community or conducting home visits.