Source: (1988) Social Service Review 62(4):668-683.

This essay considers the utility of crime victim and offender mediation for social workers. Mediation provides an opportunity for both victims and offenders to actively participate in decision making and an opportunity to challenge stereotypes. Mediation also provides a mechanism to respond to victim interest in participating in the justice system and provides a dispute settlement procedure to replace other responses to property offenders. A growing body of research indicates that mediation is feasible and acceptable to both victims and the general public as the response to property offenders. Such a response should deter the growth of the jail and prison industry that is using resources needed for education, health, and social welfare.