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Restorative Justice and Mediation Collection: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2000
15 pages
To determine the extent of victim-offender mediation (VOM) services, the Office for Victims of Crime provided a grant to the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking to survey major issues in VOM and promising practices.
VOM is a process that provides interested victims, primarily victims of property crimes and minor assaults, the opportunity to meet their offenders in a safe and structured setting. The goal is to hold offenders directly accountable for their behavior while providing important support and assistance to victims. Interest in VOM has grown since the late 1970's, but VOM is not appropriate for all crimes. The survey by the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking indicates there are more than 300 VOM programs throughout the United States and more than 700 in Europe. Research shows that victims of crime who meet with their offenders are far more likely to be satisfied with the criminal justice system response to their cases than victims of similar crimes who go through the traditional court process. In addition, after meeting with offenders, victims are significantly less fearful of being revictimized. Offenders who meet with their victims are far more likely to be held directly accountable for their behavior and to successfully complete their restitution obligations. Further, considerably fewer and less serious crimes are subsequently committed by offenders who meet with their victims. Brief summaries of documents consulted during the survey are provided that concern a national survey of victim-offender mediation programs in the United States, guidelines for victim-sensitive VOM, multicultural implications of restorative justice, family group conferencing, and a directory of VOM programs in the United States. 35 references

Date Published: July 1, 2000