Source: Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution. 5(1). Downloaded 14 February 2005.

This Note will discuss the need for an alternative method within the criminal justice system, such as victim-offender mediation, and will discuss the benefits and implications of extending victim-offender mediation to serious and violent crimes. The first part of this Note will explain the premise and purpose of victim-offender mediation. The Note will detail victim-offender mediation's roots in restorative justice and the various types of victim-offender mediation programs currently in place. The second part of this Note will address the efficacy of victim-offender mediation programs, highlighting the program's overall benefits and shortcomings. The Note will then address the criminal judicial system's role in victim-offender mediation and discuss the consequences and ethical considerations of mediating serious and violent crimes. Ultimately, this Note will conclude that since victim-offender mediation has had great success in handling less serious crimes and has proven to be an effective part of the judicial system, violent crimes would also be appropriate for victim-offender mediation. The benefits attributed to mediating less violent and less serious crimes only further validate the importance of handling violent and serious crimes in victim-offender mediation. This Note does not propose that victim-offender mediation should act as a substitute for judicial criminal proceedings in serious and violent crimes. Rather, the principle should be to provide a separate forum for the victims, themselves, to assert their own claims against their offender. (excerpt)

Read Full Article