Source: (2003) VOMA Connections. Spring(14): 1,12-17. Downloaded 15 December 2003.

Over the last few decades, victim offender mediation has generally been used to address more minor crimes, often in the juvenile justice context. Its use for more serious and violent crimes perpetrated by youth and by adults has been less common; in fact the appropriateness of such use has been questioned by some. Nevertheless, the employment of victim offender mediation in cases of violence is increasing. This owes at least in part to requests by victims to interact with those who had violently offended against them or against a family member. In this context, the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with the National Organization for Victim Assistance, undertook an in-depth study of victim-offender dialogue in serious and violent crimes in Texas and Ohio, the first two states to develop such a program as part of their state-wide victim services agencies. The researchers report the results of that study in this paper. They provide information on the programs, the participants, the kinds of cases addressed, the nature of the dialogue, and outcomes for participants.

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