Source: (2003) Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention. 4(1): 101-122.

In Sweden and Norway, some types of crimes are handled through mediation between the victim and the offender. Only some types of offenders and some types of victims are deemed suitable for this type of criminal justice intervention, however. The author examined the way in which victims and offenders were described by analyzing written and oral statements of the target groups for mediation in Sweden and Norway. The author also examined quantitative data on the victims and perpetrators who usually take part in mediations. The analysis revealed that offenders who were regarded as suitable for participation in mediation tended to be young, first-time offenders. As such, suitable offenders are typically characterized by their age, the seriousness of their offense, and their criminal history. On the other hand, victims who were deemed appropriate for mediation were defined on the basis of whom the crime was committed by, rather than their own characteristics. Victims who were victimized by young people, and who were victimized by less serious offenses were deemed suitable for mediation. In this way, crime policy is affected by the way youthful offenders are constructed as responsible individuals who must be made to pay for their crimes. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,