Source: (2006) Contemporary Justice Review. 9(3): 243-256.

Victim-offender mediation (VOM) programs have gained considerable popularity in juvenile courts, yet little is known about how these programs actually influence offenders. This paper explores young offenders’ subjective experiences of voluntary participation in a county-run VOM program in Minnesota. The authors conducted in-depth, qualitative interviews with seven young offenders (aged 15-24) and four sets of their parents, who had recently participated in a VOM session with their crime victim(s). Data analysis revealed varying motivations for the offenders’ participation in the sessions, a range of emotional consequences, and some potential for enduring behavior change. Based on these findings, the authors propose guidelines for future practice and research with young people involved in mediation, conferencing, and restorative justice programs. (Author’s abstract)