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Community-Based Mediation Programs: A Case Study and Comparison.

Harrison, Russell S.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) International Journal of Public Adminstration. 25(11): 1427-1457.

According to Russell Harrison, restorative justice advocates are increasingly insisting that fully restorative programs should use methods of mediation and group conferencing that fully include community interests and incorporate a wide range of community participants. That is, they should be fully community-based. They should maximize social capital and promote a civic culture. Harrison extends this perspective to many programs that use community-based mediation even though their administrators do not publicly claim a restorative justice approach. In this regard, he describes the San Diego model of family group decision-making as a prime example of a mediation program that is fully community-based. He goes on to show that support for similar mediation programs is widespread in the United States, as is support for mediation programs that are only partially and not fully restorative (e.g., victim-offender mediation). In contrast, most programs dealing with court adjudication issues follow the traditional judicial model of decision-making and case management. He then discusses methods for evaluating outcomes or results from various programs – those that are fully restorative; those that are partially restorative; and those that are least restorative.


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