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Crime Victims Meet Juvenile Offenders: Contributing Factors to Victim Satisfaction With Mediated Dialogue

NCJ Number
Juvenile and Family Court Journal Volume: 49 Issue: 3 Dated: Summer 1998 Pages: 17-25
W Bradshaw; M S Umbreit
Date Published
9 pages
Juvenile offender mediation was studied with respect to the relative and combined influences of individual victim characteristics, victimization status, satisfaction with the media, issues in the process of mediation, fairness in the criminal justice system, and emotional reaction to the crime on victim satisfaction with mediation.
The research used data from 215 victims referred by the juvenile court to victim-offender mediation program sites in Oakland, Calif., Albuquerque, Minneapolis, and Austin. Three programs were operated by private nonprofit community-based organizations working closely with the juvenile court; the Austin juvenile probation office administered the Austin program. The programs used a humanistic mediation model that had four phases: intake, preparation for the mediator, mediation, and follow-up. Data were collected from the Post-Mediation Victim Interview Schedule. Data were analyzed by means of multiple regression techniques. Eighty-five percent of the cases were referred prior to formal adjudication as a diversion effort; the other 15 percent were referred after formal adjudication. Eighty-nine percent of the cases involved property crimes; the other 11 percent involved violent crimes, mainly minor assaults. Ninety percent of the victims expressed satisfaction with mediation. Satisfaction with the mediator, the fairness of the restitution agreement, and meeting the offender explained 42 percent of the variance in satisfaction with mediation. Results highlighted the importance of the personal encounter and negotiation between victim, offender, and mediator and support restorative justice theory. Table and 36 references