Source: (1991) Corrections Today 53(4):164-166.
This essay recommends “restorative justice”, which emphasizes that crime is a violation of one person by another, rather than simply an offense against the State. It features dialogue, negotiation, and problemsolving in victim-offender interaction. Victim-offender mediation and reconciliation programs now exist in more than 100 jurisdictions in the United States. The mediation process is described. In more than 95 percent of the cases in many programs, a written restitution agreement is negotiated and signed at the end of the meeting. Program evaluations in Minnesota and Indiana indicate that both victims and offenders benefit from this humanizing experience with the justice system.
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