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The Practice of Victim Offender Mediation: A Look at the Evidence

Vos, Betty
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) In Shoham, Shlomo Giora, Ori Beck and Martin Kett, ed., International Handbook of Penology and Criminal Justice, Florida, USA, Taylor & Francis Group. Pp. 691-708.

“Mark S. Umbreit, Robert B. Coates, and Betty Vos give us an in-depth look at one of the most widely practiced forms of restorative justice, i.e., victim offender mediation (VOM). After explaining what VOM is and how it is practiced, the authors evaluate its effectiveness. They review participation rates, participant satisfaction, diversion rates, recidivism rates, costs, and more. The chapter ends with a look at the implementation of VOM in cases of severe violence. The authors conclude: “Victim offender mediation is a restorative justice process with considerable promise for repairing the harm caused by crime while holding offenders accountable and allowing those affected by the crime to have a voice in its solution. When it is practiced in accordance with its guidelines and values, the research demonstrates that VOM improves victims’ involvement and healing, increases the extent to which offenders take responsibility for their behavior and learn from their experience, offers community members a role in shaping a just response to law violation, and contributes to a more positive public attitude toward juvenile and criminal courts.” (Publishers abstract)


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