Source: (1996) Law and Social Work 13p.
Mediation, as an expression of restorative justice, is an emerging area of social work practice with youth in the justice system. This article reports on and evaluation of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program in Oakland (CA). The evaluation was based upon a quasi-experimental design involving 240 interviews with juvenile offenders and victims, including pre and post mediation interviews and two different comparison groups. Results indicate that the vast majority of both victims and young offenders experience the process and outcome as fair and are satisfied with the program. A marginal, but non-significant, reduction in further criminal behavior by offenders in mediation was found compared to similar offenders in a structured court administered restitution program without mediation.
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