Source: (2001) Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution. 17: 185.

Shenk begins this essay with the observation that historically the American criminal justice system – retributive in character, and focused on crime as a violation of law – has ignored the needs of the victim of crime and failed to restore the victim’s losses. In recent years there has been a trend to bring the needs of the victim to the forefront of the justice system. This, Shenk remarks, is symbolic of a shift toward restorative justice with the focus on the needs of victims. Victim-offender mediation has emerged as the best-known and effective means of practicing restorative justice, yet it has largely been limited to property crimes and minor assaults. Recently, there has been some development to employ victim-offender mediation to more severe, violent crimes. With all of this in view, Shenk contends for the expansion of restorative justice, and specifically the use of victim-offender mediation, to address hate crimes.