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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120323 Find in a Library
Title: Informal Justice: Mediation Between Offenders and Victims (From Crime Prevention and Intervention: Legal and Ethical Problems P 103-116, 1989, Peter-Alexis Albrecht and Otto Backes, eds.)
Author(s): B Galaway
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Walter de Gruyter & Co
1 Berlin 30, Germany United
Sale Source: Walter de Gruyter & Co
Genthiner Str 13
1 Berlin 30,
Germany (Unified)
Type: Program Description (Model)
Language: English
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: During the last 15 years, victim-offender reconciliation or mediation projects (VORP) have emerged which, unlike previous mechanistic, impersonal juvenile justice practices, hold the juvenile offender directly accountable to the victim, rather than to the State.
Abstract: Further, VORP treats the offender not as a passive recipient of services, but an active participant who, in the presence of a mediator, meets with the victim and works out a mutually acceptable plan for restitution. The Minneapolis-St. Paul VORP was designed to serve primarily juvenile burglars and their victims. In its first two years, 128 (95 percent) of 135 victim-offender meetings have resulted in successful negotiation. Fifty-six (44 percent) agreed upon monetary restitution, and in 25 cases (20 percent) an apology was considered enough. Other types of restitution included personal service, community service, and combination personal-community service. Seventy-five (46 percent) of the total 162 victims refused to participate, citing reasons that the loss was not serious enough, they did not want to bother with it, or they thought such a meeting would be useless. Organization victims were much more likely to participate than were individual victims. Two major objections to VORP are that it provides victims with the opportunity to use the criminal or the juvenile justice system for private gain, and that its penalties may not be severe enough to accomplish social objectives. However, one function of VORP is to reduce the intrusiveness and harshness of the juvenile justice system. 3 tables, 47 references.
Main Term(s): Victim-offender reconciliation
Index Term(s): Juvenile restitution; Mediation; Minnesota; Restitution programs; Victim compensation
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