The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation. An Essential Guide to Practice and Research

  • ID: 2217866
  • Book
  • 480 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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When it was first introduced, the restorative justice movement was met with widespread resistance and skepticism. Now, more than twenty–five years later, the movement has flourished and continues to make great strides in reforming the traditional justice system. Today, the restorative justice movement is endorsed by many former skeptics. There are 1,300 victim offender mediation programs thriving throughout North America and Europe, and this form of mediation is now endorsed by the American Bar Association.

The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation is the first resource to provide a conceptual–and–research based framework and a practical process for mediating a wide–variety of criminal conflicts between victims of crime and their offenders. Written by a pioneer in the field, Mark Umbreit–the founding director of the University of Minnesota′s Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking and the National Restorative Justice Training Institute–this essential resource is based on the empirically grounded principles of restorative justice through victim offender mediation, and it explains how to put in place and apply this highly effective process.

Step–by–step, this comprehensive handbook clearly defines how the process works, shows how to identify appropriate victim and offender participants, and reveals what it takes to prepare both sides for the upcoming meeting, which is facilitated through a humanistic dialogue– driven form of mediation. The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation also shows how to establish a safe place for dialogue and outlines the most efficient methods for conducting an effective, sensitive, and often emotion– laden victim offender mediation. In addition, the author provides practical information for developing ongoing programs and instructions for training mediators, establishing case referral criteria, executing case management procedures, and developing strategies for obtaining referrals from courts and probation officers.

This indispensable resource also contains reports on the first large national survey of victim offender mediation programs and multisite studies conducted by the author in Canada, England, and the United States. It provides a wealth of information that can be helpful for initiating a victim mediation program or strengthening an existing program.

While tempered with a cautionary note to the potential hazards that could threaten the restorative justice practice, The Handbook of Victim Offender Mediation offers a clear vision of the boundless promise that restorative justice holds for our nation and the global community.

The Author

Mark S. Umbreit, Ph.D., is the founding director of the University of Minnesota′s Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking and the National Restorative Justice Training Institute. He is a professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.
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Foreword by Marlene Young.

Introduction: Restorative Justice Through Victim Offender Mediation.


Humanistic Mediation: A Transformative Journey of Peacemaking.

Guidelines for Victim–Sensitive Mediation and Dialogue with Offenders.

The Mediation Process: Phases and Tasks.

Multicultural Implications of Victim Offender Mediation.

Case Studies.

National Survey of Victim Offender Mediation Programs.

Program Development Issues.


The Impact of Victim Offender Mediation: Two Decades of Research.

Cross–National Assessment of Victim Offender Mediation.

Victim Offender Mediation in the United States: A Multisite Assessment.

Victim Offender Mediation in Canada: A Multisite Assessment.

Victim Offender Mediation in England: A Multisite Assessment.


Advanced Mediation and Dialogue in Crimes of Severe Violence.

Potential Hazards and Opportunities.

Appendix A. Resources: Organizations, Publications, Videotapes.

Appendix B. Directory of VOM Programs in the United States.

Appendix C. Program Profiles.

Appendix D. Promising Practices and Innovations.

Appendix E. Summary of Forty VOM Empirical Studies.

Appendix F. Assessing Participant Satisfaction with VOM.


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"This book–by a peerless practitioner, proponent, and scholar of victim offAnder mediation–is filled with crucial information, knowledge, insights, and inspiration for lawyers, judges, mediators, social workers, and anyone else who cares about criminal justice and the possibilities of healing people and communities." (Leonard L. Riskin, C.Leedy Professor of Law & director, Center for the Study of Dispute Resolution, University of Missouri–Columbia)

"Makes a significant contribution to the growing body of work in the development of nonsettlement–driven approaches to mediation practice. It clarifies what humanistic conflict intervention can achieve in the victim offAnder arena at this critical juncture in the field." (Joseph P. Folger, cofounder, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, and professor, Temple University)

"This is a must–read for any criminal justice professional or volunteer who is serious about bringing victims and offAnders together to continue their journey of recovery. Where else can you get both a theoretical framework and a down–to–earth guide that is steeped in the roots of real lives?" (Mark Carey, deputy commissioner, Minnesota Department of Corrections)

"Captures not only the heart and soul of restorative justice, but also the value of victim offAnder mediation in helping victims and offAnders and holding offAnders accountable to the individuals and communities they have harmed. The combination of theory, practice, and case studies combines to provide a timely and critical overview of victim offender mediation as a key tenet and practical application of restorative justice. It is, indeed, essential reading for any professional or volunteer who seeks to promote individual and community safety and justice through restorative measures." (Anne Seymour, victim advocate, Justice Solutions, Washington, D.C.)

"Brilliant! Mark Umbreit and his colleagues have written a comprehensive, practical, and inspirational book that weaves a rich and varied tapestry depicting the principles, research, and practice of restorative justice. Beyond its remarkable contribution to the literature on restorative justice, this book is essential reading for those who want to learn more about the vital relationship among theory, research, and practice. (Michael Lang, professor and Special Advisor for Program and Faculty Development, Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia, and editor, Mediation Quarterly)

"..offers a practical state–of–the–art perspective on VOM...concludes with useful information on training materials, directories and profiles of programmes..."(Newsletter of the European Forum for Victim Mediation and Restorative Justice)
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