Back to RJ Archive

Victim offender mediation in severe crimes in Belgium: “What victims need and offenders can offer.”

Van Droogenbroeck, Bram
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) In, Melinda Gyokos and Krisztina Lanyi, eds., European best practices of restorative justice in criminal Procedure. Budapest: Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement, Republic of Hungary.pp. 230-235.

[M]ediation is also carried out in prison when the punishment is being served. In 2000 the Minister of Justice decided that restorative justice practices should be used in prisons. Since November 2000 restorative justice advisers have been working in almost every Belgian prison and one of their tasks has been to facilitate communication between victims and offenders. Mediation was first used in prisons in 2001 for convicted offenders and their victims.Mediation sessions were located outside the prison system in order to keep in line with the principles of restorative justice. Mediation started on an experimental basis; the inmates of three prisons and all the victims in the Flemish part of Belgium were offered the possibility to join a mediation programme. We did not want to discriminate the victims whose offender was in another prison. Since the Act on Victim Offender Mediation each party involved in a crime can ask for mediation. (excerpt)


AbstractCourtsDialogueEuropeOffenderPrisonsRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationVictim Support
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now