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Victim Offender Mediation: An Analysis of Programs in Four States of the U.S.

NCJ Number
M S Umbreit; R B Coates
Date Published
214 pages
This report presents the results of the first large cross-site evaluation of victim offender mediation programs.
The field of victim offender mediation has grown substantially in recent years. Such mediation is an outgrowth of restorative justice theory, which views harsh punishment for offenders as less important than helping victims to find closure through participation in the justice process. Victim offender mediation, also called victim offender reconciliation, has been shown to be beneficial to crime victims, offenders, and the court systems. Victims of property crimes, in particular, have been able to meet their offender, discuss what happened, express their concerns, and negotiate a mutually agreeable restitution plan. Programs in four cities -- Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Oakland, and Austin -- were examined in a number of areas, including mediation process and outcomes, client satisfaction, perceptions of fairness, cost implications, restitution completion, and recidivism. The report presents a number of conclusions about victim offender mediation programs. Implications for policy and program development are also discussed. 31 tables, 30 figures, 1 appendix, 44 references