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Assessing Satisfaction with Victim Services: The Development and Use of the Victim Satisfaction with Offender Dialogue Scale (VSODS)

Umbreit, Mark S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) International Review of Victimology.10(1): 71-83.

The evaluation of victim satisfaction is important because it provides a means by which victims can have input into the restorative justice process. Satisfaction data can provide feedback about program services; identify problems and needs from the victim’s perspective; and provide data that increase knowledge about the process of mediated dialogue that results in improved victim services. The VSODS represents a pioneer effort to measure victim satisfaction with offender dialogue through psychometric development of an instrument. Data were collected from 197 subjects from 4 victim offender mediation program sites in the United States. The data were analyzed using principal components factor analyses. The results show that the VSODS appears to be a useful measure of general satisfaction with victim-offender mediated dialogue services. It has a high degree of internal consistency. The addition of open-ended questions and/or items of special interest to particular programs can easily supplement the VSODS. The scale is easy to administer and score and takes no more than 3 to 5 minutes for clients to complete. The instrument can be used to compare satisfaction between programs and between specific samples. The scale data with comments and any added open-ended questions can increase the richness of the information obtained. The use of VSODS can encourage more specific feedback from participants in mediated dialogue that can be used to maintain and improve the quality of program services. This instrument provides a much needed standardized measure to assess victim satisfaction in victim-offender mediated dialogue and family group conferencing programs. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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