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Appendix A. Results of Survey of Victim-Offender Mediation Programs in the United States

1. Person completing survey: ______________________________________

2. Position of person completing survey: ______________________________

3. Date of survey completion: ______________________________________

4. Name of your agency: _________________________________________

5. Type of agency: ______________________________________________

Agency
Number of Programs*
Percentage of Total
Responses (N=115)
a. Probation
10
9
b. Victim services
4
3
c. Private community-based
49
42
d. Prosecuting attorney
5
4
e. Police
2
2
f. Residential treatment facility
2
2
g. Correctional facility
9
8
h. Church-based
26
23
i. Other

State/county

4
3

Court services

2
2

Juvenile offender services

2
2
* Not all respondents answered this question, so total number of responses (115) does not equal total number of respondents (116).

6. What is the primary source of funding for the VOM program?

Source
Number of Responses*
Percentage of Total
Responses (N=160)
a. Local government
43
27
b. State government
39
24
c. Federal Government
10
6
d. Foundations
20
12
e. Individual contributions
15
9
f. Churches
16
10
g. Other

Fundraising/grants

4
3

United Way

9
6

Miscellaneous fees

4
3
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 source, so total number of responses (160) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

Please complete the following information based upon information from the most recent year. Please indicate if the data are not available.

7. How many full-time employees does your VOM program have?

  Mean: 2.3 employees   Range: 1-13 employees

8. How many mediators participate in your VOM program?

 
Mean
Range
Staff
2
1-14
Volunteers
37
1-1,000

9. What is the current annual budget of the VOM program?

  Mean: $55,077   Range: $1-$413,671

10. How many cases were referred to victim-offender mediation during the most recent year?

  N=116    
  Juvenile cases Mean: 136 Range: 1-900
  Adult cases Mean: 74 Range: 1-1,672

11. What percentage of referrals are felonies?

  N=116    
  Mean: 33 percent   Range: 1-100 percent

What percentage of referrals are misdemeanors?

  N=116    
  Mean: 67 percent   Range: 1-100 percent

12. Who is the primary referral source of cases?

Referral Source Number of Responses* Percentage of Total
Responses (N=148)
a. Probation officers
43
29
b. Judges
34
23
c. Police officers
15
10
d. Prosecutors
23
15
e. Defense attorneys
10
7
f. Victim advocates
1
1
g. Community members
3
2
h. Juvenile diversion
19
13
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 referral source, so total number of responses (148) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

13. Is offender participation in the mediation program voluntary?

  a. Yes Number: 82 Percentage: 78.8
  b. No Number: 22 Percentage: 21.2

14. Can offenders back out of the mediation program at any time?

  a. Yes Number: 87 Percentage: 82.1
  b. No Number: 19 Percentage: 17.9

15. Is victim participation in the mediation program voluntary?

  a. Yes Number: 105 Percentage: 100
  b. No Number: 0 Percentage: 0

16. Can victims back out of the mediation program at any time?

  a. Yes Number: 105 Percentage: 99.1
  b. No Number: 1 Percentage: 0.9

17. At what point(s) in the justice process is victim-offender mediation done?

Point in Justice Process Number of Responses* Percentage of Total
Responses (N=207)
a. Diversion
71
34
b. Post-adjudication but
    pre-disposition
57
28
c. Post-disposition
57
28
d. Other

At various points

5
2

At any point

10
5

Prior to court

7
3
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 point, so total number of responses (207) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

18. How many of the referred/closed cases during the year were actually mediated?

  N=116  
  Mean: 106 cases
Range: 1-771 cases

19. How many mediations resulted in written agreements?

  N=116  
  Mean: 92 mediations
Range: 1-720 mediations

20. How many of the above agreements were successfully completed?

  Mean: 91 agreements
Range: 1-720 agreements

21. What are the three most common offenses that are referred to victim-offender mediation (please list the most common first)?

a. _________________ b. _________________ c. __________________

22. Do you ever conduct mediations for any of the following severely violent crimes?

Offense Number of Responses* Percentage of Total
Responses (N=14)
a. Assault with a deadly weapon
25
18
b. Assault with bodily injury
47
33
c. Sexual assault by stranger
8
6
d. Sexual assault within family
10
7
e. Domestic violence
12
8
f. Negligent homicide
15
11
g. Attempted murder
5
3
h. Murder
8
6
i. Other
11
8
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 option, so total number of responses (141) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

23. What are the three most important tasks of the mediator(s) during the mediation session?

Task Number of Responses* Percentage of Total
Responses (N=320)
a. Providing leadership
12
4
b. Making the parties feel comfortable and safe
75
23
c. Actively paraphrasing the comments made by the parties
6
2
d. Actively listening to both parties
36
11
e. Reframing the statements of the parties
14
4
f. Actively and efficiently moving the parties toward a written agreement
19
6
g. Facilitating a dialogue between the victim and offender
90
28
h. Assisting the parties in negotiating a mutually acceptable plan for restitution
39
12
i. Controlling the amount of feelings and emotions that are expressed
1
1
j. Getting out of the way so the parties can talk directly to each other
20
6
k. Other
8
3
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 task, so total number of responses (320) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

Mediator Training Information

24. How many hours of classroom training do mediators initially receive?

  Mean: 31 hours
Range: 1-89 hours

25. In how many cases, if any, are trainees required to participate with an experienced mediator, as a period of apprenticeship, prior to completing their initial training?

  Mean: 4 cases
Range: 1-24 cases

26. Does your training include a specific component on understanding the experience and needs of crime victims?

  a. Yes Number: 93 Percentage: 79.5
  b. No Number: 23 Percentage: 20.5

27. If yes, how much time do you spend on the topic of crime victims?

  Mean: 3.7 hours
Range: 1-40 hours

28. If yes, does this include specific information about the crisis response of victims and possible trauma?

  a. Yes Number: 78 Percentage: 76.5
  b. No Number: 24 Percentage: 23.5

29. If yes, does this include specific information about crisis intervention techniques and local referral sources?

  a. Yes Number: 70 Percentage: 68.0
  b. No Number: 33 Percentage: 32.0

30. If yes, does this include specific information about the rights of crime victims in your State?

  a. Yes Number: 57 Percentage: 56.4
  b. No Number: 44 Percentage: 43.6

31. Does your training of mediators include a guest speaker from a local victim assistance program or agency?

  a. Yes Number: 45 Percentage: 38.5
  b. No Number: 71 Percentage: 61.5
  Name of the program/agency: _____________________

32. Do you invite crime victims to tell their story during the training session for mediators?

  a. Yes Number: 29 Percentage: 25.0
  b. No Number: 87 Percentage: 75.0

33. If yes, are these victims ever former clients who went through mediation?

  a. Yes Number: 19 Percentage: 59.4
  b. No Number: 13 Percentage: 40.6

34. Does your training include a specific component on understanding the experience and needs of offenders?

  a. Yes Number: 87 Percentage: 75.0
  b. No Number: 29 Percentage: 25.0

35. If yes, how much time do you spend on the topic of understanding offenders?

  Mean: 3 hours
Range: 1-12 hours

36. Does your training of mediators include a guest speaker from a local program or agency that works with offenders?

  a. Yes Number: 93 Percentage: 79.5
  b. No Number: 23 Percentage: 20.5
  Name of the program/agency: _____________________

37. Are one or more offenders ever invited to tell their story during the training session for mediators?

  a. Yes Number: 20 Percentage: 18.0
  b. No Number: 91 Percentage: 82.0

38. If yes, are these offenders ever former clients who went through mediation?

  a. Yes Number: 15 Percentage: 75.0
  b. No Number: 5 Percentage: 25.0

What other topics are addressed during training?

Topic
Number Answering Yes
Percentage Programs (N=116) That Include This
39. Y N Restorative justice
103
88
40. Y N History of victim-offender mediation
100
86
41. Y N Victim-offender mediation concept and process
113
97
42. Y N Understanding conflict
111
95
43. Y N Communication skills
114
98
44. Y N Preparation for mediation skills
110
94
45. Y N Mediation skills
114
98
46. Y N Followup VOM meetings
69
59
47. Y N Risks and benefits of victim-offender mediation
110
94
48. Y N VOM research
70
60
49. Y N Culture and gender issues in mediation
95
81
50. Y N Case assessment skills
83
71
51. Y N Followup support for victims and offenders
59
50
52. Y N Referral sources for victims and offenders
78
67
53. Y N Other
64
55

54. Approximately how many hours of role playing do you do in training?

  Mean: 11 hours
Range: 1-35 hours

55. What parts of the process do you role play in training?

Process Element Number of Responses* Percentage of
Programs (N=116)
a.. Calling the offender
57
49
b. Meeting the offender in a pre-mediation session
61
53
c. Calling the victim
58
50
d. Meeting the victim in a pre-mediation session
63
54
e. Mediation session
107
92
f. Followup mediation session
10
9
g. Other
8
7
*Respondents could indicate more than 1 source, so total number of responses (364) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

56. Are your mediators trained in comediation?

  a. Yes Number: 91 Percentage: 78.5
  b. No Number: 25 Percentage: 21.4

57a. If yes, why do you use comediators? What are the benefits?

57b. If no, why don't you use comediators?

58. What do you find to be the most helpful training techniques? Please be very specific.

59. What do you find to be the least helpful training techniques? Please be very specific.

60. Are there specific handouts, manuals, or videotapes that you have found particularly helpful in training? Please be specific.

61. Do you believe that your victim-offender mediation training is sufficiently sensitive to understanding the experience and needs of crime victims?

  a. Yes Number: 74 Percentage: 69.8
  b. No Number: 32 Percentage: 30.2

62. Do you believe that your victim-offender mediation training is sufficiently sensitive to understanding the experience and needs of offenders?

  a. Yes Number: 82 Percentage: 76.6
  b. No Number: 25 Percentage: 23.4

63. Do you think victim-offender mediators should be required to receive certification of completion of a legislatively mandated number of hours of VOM training?

  a. Yes Number: 40 Percentage: 38.8
  b. No Number: 63 Percentage: 61.2

64. If yes, how many hours of training should be required?

  Mean: 35 hours
Range: 1-197 hours

65. If no, how many hours of training would be considered appropriate?

66. Do you think that advanced training should be required before mediators work with cases of severe violence such as sexual assault, attempted homicide, murder?

  a. Yes Number: 112 Percentage: 100
  b. No Number: 0 Percentage: 0

Case Preparation Information

67. Does someone call the victim and offender prior to the mediation?

  a. Yes Number: 114 Percentage: 99.1
  b. No Number: 1 Percentage: 0.9

68. If yes, who does this?

  Mediator Number: 55 Percentage: 49.1
  Intake staff Number: 59 Percentage: 50.9

69. Does someone meet with the victim and offender separately prior to the mediation?

  a. Yes Number: 88 Percentage: 77.9
  b. No Number: 25 Percentage: 22.1

70. If yes, who does this?

  Mediator Number: 72 Percentage: 82
  Intake staff Number: 16 Percentage: 18

Mediation Process Information

71. Where are mediations typically held?

Location Number of Responses* Percentage of
Programs (N=116)
a. Program office
83
72
b. Conference room in library
49
42
c. Neighborhood/ community center
51
44
d. Home of victim
20
17
e. Courtroom
21
18
f. Church/synagogue/temple
45
39
g. Other
55
47
* Respondents could indicate more than 1 location, so total number of responses (324) is greater than total number of respondents (116).

72. Who chooses where the mediation will be held?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of
Programs (N=116)
a. Victim
13
11
b. Offender
0
0
c. Mediator
18
16
d. Collaboratively
47
40
e. Other
38
33

73. If you use comediators, how often?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of Total Responses (N=115)
a. Routinely
81
70
b. Occasionally
26
23
c. Never
8
7

74. Do the victim and offender sit across from each other during the mediation, allowing for direct eye contact?

  a. Yes Number: 97 Percentage: 94.2
  b. No Number: 6 Percentage: 5.8
  If no, what type of seating arrangement do you use?
_______________________

75. After the opening statement by the mediator, who typically begins telling his or her story first?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of Total Responses (N=114)
a. Victim
60
53
b. Offender
38
33
c. Varies/depends
16
14

76. Who decides which party begins?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of Total Responses (N=116)
a. Victim
14
12
b. Offender
0
0
c. Mediator
62
53
d. Program
23
20
e. Victim and offender
8
7
f. Varies
9
8

Mediation Outcome Information

77. What is the primary goal of your victim-offender mediation program?

78. What are the three most important outcomes of the mediation session for the involved parties?

a. ___________________________________________________

b. ___________________________________________________

c. ___________________________________________________

Comments: ____________________________________________

79. Has your program been evaluated at some level?

  a. Yes Number: 87 Percentage: 75.7
  b. No Number: 28 Percentage: 24.3

If yes, please enclose either a copy of the full evaluation or a summary of it.

80. In what ways do you feel your program is sensitive to the needs of victims?

80a. What could be done to make your program more sensitive to the needs of victims?

81. In what ways do you feel your program is sensitive to the needs of offenders?

81a. Do you have ideas of things that could be done to make your program more sensitive to the needs of offenders?

82. Is there anything else you would like to say about your program, the training of mediators, mediation outcomes, etc.?

83. Do you know of any other victim-offender mediation programs that might not be listed in the national VOMA Directory, particularly newer programs?

84. Are offenders required to admit their guilt prior to participation?

  a. Yes Number: 75 Percentage: 65.2
  b. No Number: 40 Percentage: 34.8

85. Are parents of the juvenile offenders present during the mediation session?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of Total Responses (N=116)
a. Always
60
52
b. Sometimes
32
27
c. Occasionally
15
13
d. Never
9
8

86. Are other participants present during the mediation session?

  Number of Responses* Percentage of Total Responses (N=116)
a. Always
60
52
b. Sometimes
32
27
c. Occasionally
15
13
d. Never
9
8

Who are the other participants?

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

Thanks for taking the time to respond to this survey!

Please enclose a copy of your (1) mediator training agenda; (2) recent annual report; (3) program flyer; (4) newsletter; (5) evaluation reports.

The survey and other program materials should be mailed to:

Jean Greenwood, Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking
School of Social Work, University of Minnesota
105 Peters Hall, 1404 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
612-624-4923

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Guidelines for Victim-Sensitive Victim-Offender Mediation:
Restorative Justice Through Dialogue
April 2000
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