Source: (2000) Tokyo, Japan: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders

Although the distress of some victims might be so overwhelming that they will demand the harshest possible penalty for their victimizer, this cannot be said of the majority of victims. Healing, recovery, redress, and prevention of future victimization are the primary objectives of most crime victims. If the primary purpose of social intervention is to restore the peace, redress the harm, heal the injury, and stop the repetition of the offense, then it is clear why the restorative justice system -- based on mediation, reconciliation, restitution, and compensation -- succeeds where the punishment system fails. Mediation and reconciliation bring the offender and victim together for the purpose of ensuring that they view one another as human beings in a state of distress. When faced with the victim, it is impossible for the victimizer to deny the victim's injury or harm caused. Offenders can no longer depersonalize, objectify, or dehumanize the victim. The confrontation between the offender and the victim in a mediation situation is thus the surest and most effective means of sensitizing the offender to the victim's plight and of countering and reversing the mental process of offender desensitization. For the victim, the feared, strong, cruel, and unemotional offender is exposed as a weak and often helpless being who evokes more pity than fear, more compassion than anger. Both parties thus gain a realistic view of one another, and reconciliation and responsible action toward one another become possible.