Source: (2002) Juvenile and Family Court Journal. 53(1): 37-45.

This study examined the attitudes of participants in Utah’s Juvenile Court Victim-Offender Mediation Program (VOMP) and compared these findings with those of other published evaluations. The Utah VOMP began in 1994 and is one of hundreds of VOMPs in the United States. Data came from records compiled during 1997-2000 regarding how 147 victims and 330 offenders regarded their experiences in the VOMP. Results revealed that all participants reported high levels of satisfaction, although victims reported more satisfaction than did offenders for some outcomes. Ninety-four percent of victims and 88 percent of offenders who used the first version of the assessment questionnaire rated the overall mediation experience positively. Ninety-one percent of these victims and 92 percent of offenders believed that the mediator was fair and impartial. Ninety-three percent of these victims and 94 percent of offenders would recommend the mediator to others. The results were also encouraging for the second version of the questionnaire, although victims displayed higher levels of endorsement than offenders regarding their overall experience, the negotiated agreement, comfort with the mediator, and willingness to recommend mediation to a friend. Findings were similar to those of studies of other VOMP programs and supported the conclusion that mediation and other forms of restorative justice are effective alternatives to common court procedures. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.