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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204297 Find in a Library
Title: Positioning Mediation in the Criminal Justice System: The Italian "Justice of the Peace" (From Repositioning Restorative Justice, P 284-295, 2003, Lode Walgrave, ed., -- See NCJ-204284)
Author(s): Grazia Mannozzi
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Case Study
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter analyzes recent reforms in the Italian criminal justice system that profoundly changed the structure and the representation of the Italian penal system.
Abstract: Generally within criminal justice systems there is a link between crime and punishment; an offender commits a crime and the criminal justice system provides a punishment. However, in Italy the link between crime and punishment has weakened due to a number of factors that include the immense discretionary powers of prosecutors, the excessive length of trials, and the uncertainty of whether the punishment will actually be carried out. In response, practitioners began turning to mediation, but had to do so through procedures originally intended for different aims because no direct provisions provided for mediation. In 2002, the Italian legislator expanded the office of the justice of the peace to include judicial authority for mediation and reparation for specific offenses. The act extended the authority of the justices into the penal field and contained the first explicit mention of “mediation” as a means of conflict resolution. The act provides two different conciliatory measures: (1) mediation with the aim of reconciliation or (2) acquittal of a case as a result of reparative conduct. The act also contains a deflective measure that provides for acquittal due to the particular tenuity of the fact, which means a judge can decide not to apply a sanction when a series of conditions are present, such as a minor offense that inflicted little damage. In sentencing, the act provides a general sentencing model that has two fundamental criteria judges are supposed to apply to cases when deciding sentences: the seriousness of the crime and the offender’s capacity to commit crimes. However, in practice there is little guidance for judges on how to exercise their discretionary powers and no real policy has emerged about how to assess the seriousness of offenses. Hopefully, the inclusion of mediation as an effective means of dealing with an offense will promote the idea of a flexible model of conflict resolution within the criminal and juvenile justice systems. References
Main Term(s): Italy; Restorative Justice
Index Term(s): Justices of the peace; Mediation
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