Source: (2010) Contemporary Justice Review. 13(2):207-227.
This qualitative study examined multiple perspectives of participants who experienced a Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) program in a Midwestern city in the United States. Of particular interest are the roles and skills of mediators. Data consisted of 34 face-to-face interviews with 37 participants including adult crime victims, juvenile offenders and their parents, mediators and representatives from referring agencies. Insider perspectives regarding the roles and skills of the mediators in restorative processes were revealed through personal stories. Although the majority of the participants reported that the roles and skills of mediators were consistent with restorative justice principles, this exploratory study also revealed that some roles and skills exhibited by mediators were inconsistent with restorative justice values, which shows the variance of ‘real world’ restorative justice. Recommendations are made to promote mediators’ roles and skills that are compatible with restorative justice principles. (author’s abstract)
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