Source: (2008) Dissertation submited to the School of Social Welfare and the Faculty of the Graduate School of the Univeristy of Kansas in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosopy.

To develop an in-depth understanding of restorative justice process, this study examined multiple perspectives of the participants’ experiences of a Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) program operating in a Midwestern city. The primary data source was 34 face-to-face interviews conducted with 37 participants including adult crime victims, juvenile offenders and their parents, and service providers involving mediators and referral sources. Findings highlight that VOM helped participants put a face on crimes, which led them to acquire the unseen impact of the crimes. In general, the participants, including the victims, overwhelmingly indicated having had positive experiences. However, findings also indicated some insensitive approaches toward the victims, which reflect the offender-focused mind-set of the practitioners. This study brings forth the detailed and rich stories from an insider’s perspective on restorative justice, helping us to take a closer look at what is aptly referred to as the “black box” of restorative justice. (author's abstract)