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Legislative Statues on Victim Offender Mediation: A National Review

Umbreit, Mark S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) St. Paul, MN: Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota.

Victim-offender mediation – a framework for dialogue between crime victims and offenders – is one of the basic tools of restorative justice. The purpose in producing this report is to document existing statutory authority relating to victim-offender mediation (VOM) in states in the United States. Specifically, while mediation procedures are relatively common in civil and family law statutes, the focus of this analysis is to look at mediation in criminal cases. The existence of specific provisions for VOM in state codes is important in providing a structure for the implementation of VOM in a state, though the degree of statutory authority does not necessarily correspond to the actual development and use of VOM programs in a state. However, without statutory provisions for VOM, there is little legal authority, protection, or specific funding mechanism for those involved in VOM. This study, then, consists of a comprehensive computer-based search, using VOM language and VOM types of activities, of all state codes. Mediation in civil cases was excluded from the analysis. The report presents findings from this search on a state-by state-basis. It also includes the researchers’ categorization of states and their statutory provisions on a continuum from “little or no mention of VOMâ€? to a “comprehensive VOM legislative framework.â€?


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