Source: (2009) Journal of Experimental Criminology. 5(1):25-39.

Results are presented from a study on the effectiveness of mediation in resolving interpersonal disputes involving criminal acts. Results were consistent with other research which had also found that disputants felt better about their experience in the criminal justice system and about each other after mediation than after the traditional court process. However, the findings also suggest that mediation was no more effective than prosecution in preventing recidivism and that a great many people in felony arrest cases arising from interpersonal disputes prefer not to use mediation as the means of coping with their problems. The value of mediation, then, for the adult felony arrest cases examined lies in increasing participant satisfaction with the adjudication process. Restorative justice is defined as a process whereby all the parties with a stake in a particular offense come together to resolve collectively how to deal with the aftermath of the offense. Using an experimental design, this study sought to determine if mediation was a more effective method of resolving interpersonal disputes involving criminal acts than was prosecution in the courts. The study examined how the mode of disposition affected victim and offender satisfaction with the process, as well as rates of reoffending. The study consisted of 465 felony arrest cases in Kings County, NY. The cases all involved persons who were acquainted, either intimate partners or other immediate family relationships. (abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,