Source: (2004) Paper presented at the Third Conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, “Restorative Justice in Europe: Where are we heading?", Budapest, Hungary, 14-16 October. Downloaded 24 May 2005.

In Italy VOM has been experimented mainly within the juvenile justice system since the early 90s. Juvenile magistrates (public prosecutors and judges) may dispose for VOM as a part of the criminal proceeding. In our previous research (Mestitz & Ghetti, 2002) we documented that juvenile magistrates were directly involved in the promotion and creation of 6 of the 9 Mediation centres existing in Italy at the time of the research. Considering that juvenile prosecutors and judges are the only professionals who can dispose for mediation, and they seem to have a central role in ensuring the very existence of VOM in Italy, we may expect that in those jurisdictions in which VOM centres exist, mediation is attempted in a sizeable percentage of cases. Instead, when we examined the proportion of juvenile crimes reported to the authorities in the jurisdiction in which VOM centre is available, we found that mediation is attempted in a very small percentage of cases (e.g., 8% in 2000). Thus, we wondered whether despite the initial enthusiasm and/or support, there is now some attitudinal resistance to rely on mediation. (excerpt)