Source: (1992) In: H. Messmer and H.-U. Otto (eds.), Restorative Justice on Trial: Pitfalls and Potentials of Victim-Offender Mediation: International Research Perspectives. Dordrecht, NETH: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 461-474.

The present study deals with decision-making procedures in diversion and victim-offender mediation. It is based on numerous conversation between social workers and clients that were recorded and analyzed between June 1986 and May 1989 in the course of the Bielefeld diversion practice. It is shown that informal interventions in deviant behavior follow quite different principles of verbal organization to those prevailing in courts. Analyses of the style and content of informal decision-making procedures reveal structural similarities and differences between social workers and clients in diversion and mediation talks. The potential of communative approaches is discussed.