Source: (2009) Children and Youth Services Review. 31(7):813-821.

This qualitative study examined the multiple perspectives of participants' experiences of a Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) program operating in a Midwestern city. Thirty-four face-to-face interviews were conducted with 37 participants, including juvenile offenders and their parents, adult crime victims, mediators, and referral sources. The findings indicate disparities exist between the juvenile offenders and their victims in their perceptions of the genuineness of the apology delivered. The nature of apology is explored and its meaning in the restorative justice context is set out. This study provides a snapshot of the process and practice of restorative justice work. In particular, this study highlights the complicated nature of communication between and among VOM participants. Recommendations are made to improve victimsensitive restorative justice practices through the composition and delivery of the apology. (excerpt)