Source: (1999) Paper presented at the Restoration for Victims of Crime Conference. Australian Institute of Criminology and Victims Referral and Assistance Service. MelbourneBenjamin asserts that the answer to the question posed in the paper’s title is that mediation holds an offender accountable wrong doing, aims to repair the damage caused, heals the victim, and harnesses community energy in crime prevention. It does so by understanding and dealing with the reality of crime’s causes, impact and outcomes. Benjamin is careful to acknowledge the essential safeguards of the formal justice system that protect the rights of offender and victim alike. These include voluntary, not coerced, participation, confidentiality, and recourse to the traditional process without being penalized if mediation efforts fail.