Source: (1997) European Journal of Crime; vol.: Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, pp. 1-78.
Victim/offender mediation according to Austrian legal doctrine is the generic term for various ways of compensating victims. This includes compensation for any personal injury, loss, or damage caused, whether directly or indirectly, by an offense; reconciliation talks, apologies, and help for the victim; and community service or payments to public welfare institutions. In Austria, victim/offender mediation is a central feature of juvenile justice processing. Germany’s criminal law provides for various forms and benefits of mediation for victims of juvenile and adult offenders. These include face-to-face meetings between victim and offender, as well as requirements that offenders compensate victims. From 1992 to the end of 1995, approximately 5,500 charges against adult offenders were settled through victim/offender mediation in Austria. In Germany, from 1977 to 1993 victim compensation imposed by public prosecutors declined from 1.5 percent to 0.7 percent of all dismissed cases. Compensation imposed in cases of court dismissals, however, remained constant at approximately 8.5 percent. In absolute numbers, this is approximately 5,200 cases a year. Evaluation research indicates that victims are most satisfied with victim/offender mediation programs that result in compensation for the victim. They are less committed to mediation that focuses on reconciliation and the resolution of conflict between the victim and the offender. 98 footnotes
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