Source: (2003) Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference On Restorative Justice. Centre for Restorative Justice. 1-4 June. Vancouver BC. Downloaded 16 June 2003.

The integration of restorative justice practices into the traditional criminal justice system continues to increase, thus creating an essential need to examine the components that contribute to their success. In contrast to professionals who work in the traditional system, restorative justice programs rely heavily on unpaid, part-time, community volunteers. Restorative justice volunteers may take on administrative tasks as well as facilitate mediations between victims and offenders. Past research on volunteerism suggests that volunteers may be motivated by a desire to express their altruistic and humanitarian concern for others, as well as by the opportunity to exercise their acquired knowledge, skills and abilities. In this paper, we examine the characteristics, motivations, and competencies of restorative justice volunteers, and speculate about the relationship between these variables and the outcomes of their mediation sessions. An understanding of the role of facilitators in restorative justice can provide recommendations for effective facilitator recruitment and aid in the development of an effective training policy.

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