Advertisement

Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 113–132 | Cite as

Patterns of victim marginalization in victim-offender mediation: some lessons learned

  • Jung Jin Choi
  • Michael J. Gilbert
  • Diane L. Green
Article

Abstract

This article discusses issues that restorative justice programs may face during implementation and lessons learned from an exploratory study. We examined various perspectives of multiple participants who experienced a Victim-Offender Mediation (VOM) program in a mid-sized Midwestern city in the U.S. The primary data source comprised 34 interviews with 37 participants including adult crime victims, juvenile offenders and their parents, mediators, and representatives from referring agencies. Observations complemented the interview data. Findings revealed patterns of victim marginalization during the processes used: victims were not prepared appropriately; were at times pressured by mediators to behave in certain ways; and, occasionally felt intimidated by offenders and/or their families. We discuss some factors that may have influenced the emergence of these patterns. This study revealed gaps between the guiding principles of restorative justice theory and field practices, particularly sensitivity toward victims to meet their needs. We suggest that restorative justice programs should consider using a monitoring system to ensure that the processes used remain consistent with the values and principles of restorative justice.

Keywords

Restorative Process Restorative Justice Juvenile Offender Crime Victim Family Group Conference 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This article is based on research for Jung Jin Choi’s dissertation. The authors wish to thank reviewers for their helpful comments on this article.

References

  1. 1.
    Abrams, L., Umbreit, M., & Gordon, A. (2006). Young offenders speak about meeting their victims: implications for future programs. Contemporary Justice Review, 9(3), 243–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Achilles, M., & Zehr, H. (2001). Restorative justice for crime victims: The promise and the challenge. In G. Bazemore & M. Schiff (Eds.), Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities (pp. 87–99). Cincinnati: Anderson.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Amstutz, L. S. (2009). The little book of victim offender conferencing: Bringing victims and offenders together in dialogue. Intercourse: GoodBooks.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bazemore, G., & Green, D. L. (2007). “Yardsticks” for victim sensitive process: principle-based standards for gauging the integrity of restorative justice process. Victims & Offenders, 2, 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bazemore, G., & Schiff, M. (2005). Juvenile justice reform and restorative justice: Building theory and policy from practice. Portland: Willan.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bazemore, G., & Umbreit, M. S. (2003). A comparison of four restorative conferencing models. In G. Johnstone (Ed.), A restorative justice reader: Texts, sources, context (pp. 225–243). Portland: Willan.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bonta, J., Jesseman, R., Rugge, T., & Cormier, R. (2006). Restorative justice and recidivism: Promises made, promises kept? In D. Sullivan & L. Tifft (Eds.), Handbook of restorative justice (pp. 108–120). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bradshaw, W., & Umbreit, M. S. (1998). Crime victims meet juvenile offenders: contributing factors to victim satisfaction with mediated dialogue. Juvenile & Family Court Journal, 49(3), 17–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Braithwaite, J. (2002). Setting standards for restorative justice. British Journal of Criminology, 42, 563–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brown, J. B. (1994). The use of mediation to resolve criminal cases: a procedural critique. Emory Law Journal, 43, 1247–1309.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Choi, J. J. (2008). Opening the “Black Box”: a naturalistic case study of restorative justice. Lawrence: University of Kansas, Unpublished doctoral dissertation.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Choi, J. J., Bazemore, G., & Gilbert, M. (2012). Assessing victims’ experiences in restorative justice: implications for youth justice. Children and Youth Services Review, 34(1), 35–42.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Choi, J. J., Green, D. L., & Kapp, S. A. (2010). Victimization, victims’ needs, and empowerment in victim offender mediation. International Review of Victimology, 17, 267–290.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Daly, K. (2002). Restorative justice: the real story. Punishment & Society, 4(1), 55–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Daly, K. (2006). The limits of restorative justice. In D. Sullivan & L. Tifft (Eds.), Handbook of restorative justice: A global perspective (pp. 134–145). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    de Beus, K., & Rodriguez, N. (2007). Restorative justice practice: an examination of program completion and recidivism. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35, 337–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Drowns, R. W., & Hess, K. M. (2000). Juvenile justice. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Evans, J. (2006). Integrating victims into restorative justice. Practice, 18(4), 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gilbert, M. J., & Settles, T. (2007). The next step: indigenous neighborhood-restorative community justice. Criminal Justice Review, 32(1), 5–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Harris, N., Walgrave, L., & Braithwaite, J. (2004). Emotional dynamics in restorative conferences. Theoretical Criminology, 8(2), 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Hayes, H. (2006). Apologies and accounts in youth justice conferencing: reinterpreting research outcomes. Contemporary Justice Review, 9(4), 369–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hayes, H., & Daly, K. (2003). Youth justice conferencing and reoffending. Justice Quarterly, 20(4), 725–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Herman, S. (2004). Is restorative justice possible without a parallel system for victims? In H. Zehr & B. Toews (Eds.), Critical issues in restorative justice (pp. 95–105). Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Jensen, C. J., III, & Levin, B. H. (Eds.). (2005). Neighborhood-driven policing: A series of working papers from the futures working group. Quantico: Federal Bureau of Investigation.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kenney, J. S., & Clairmont, D. (2009). Using the victim role as both sword and shield: the interactional dynamics of restorative justice sessions. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 38(3), 279–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kuo, S., Longmire, D., & Cuvelier, S. J. (2010). An empirical assessment of the process of restorative justice. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38, 318–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lemley, E. C. (2001). Designing restorative justice policy: an analytical perspective. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 12(1), 43–65.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Lightfoot, E., & Umbreit, M. S. (2004). An analysis of state statutory provisions for victim-offender mediation. Criminal Justice Policy Review, 15(4), 418–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Lincoln, Y., & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Llewellyn, J. (2007). Truth commissions and restorative justice. In G. Johnstone & D. Van Ness (Eds.), Handbook of restorative justice (pp. 351–371). Portland: Willan.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Morris, A., & Maxwell, G. (1997). Re-forming juvenile justice: the New Zealand experiment. Prison Journal, 77(2), 125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Muhr, T. (2005). ATLAS.ti (V 5.0). Berlin: ATLAS.ti Scientific Software Development GmbH.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Niemeyer, M., & Shichor, D. (1996). A preliminary study of a large victim/offender reconciliation program. Federal Probation, 60(3), 30–34.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Nugent, W. R., Williams, M., & Umbreit, M. S. (2003). The practice of restorative justice: participation in victim-offender mediation and the prevalence and severity of subsequent delinquent behavior. Utah Law Review Society, 137, 1–17.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (1998). Guide for implementing the balanced and restorative justice model. Washington: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Pranis, K. (2005). Circle processes: A new/old approach to peacemaking. Intercourse: GoodBooks.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Presser, L. (2004). Justice here and now: a personal reflection on the restorative and community justice paradigms. Contemporary Justice Review, 7(1), 101–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Presser, L., & Hamilton, C. A. (2006). The micropolitics of victim-offender mediation. Sociological Inquiry, 76(3), 316–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Restorative Justice Consortium. (2003). Statement of restorative justice principles. In G. Johnstone (Ed.), A restorative justice reader: Texts, sources, context (pp. 482–484). Portland: Willan.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Roberts, A. R. (1997). Introduction and overview. In A. R. Roberts (Ed.), Social work in juvenile and criminal justice settings (pp. 7–18). Springfield: Charles C Thomas.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Rodriguez, N. (2007). Restorative justice at work: examining the impact of restorative justice resolutions on juvenile recidivism. Crime & Delinquency, 53(3), 355–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Rodwell, M. (1998). Social work constructivist research. New York: Garland.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Rugge, T., & Scott, T. (2009). Restorative justice’s impact on participants’ psychological and physical health. Canada: Public Safety Canada.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Sarri, R. (1995). Criminal behavior overview. In R. L. Edwards (Ed.), Encyclopedia of social work. Washington: NASW Press.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Shapland, J., Atkinson, A., Atkinson, H., Colledge, E., Dignan, J., Howes, M., et al. (2006). Situating restorative justice within criminal justice. Theoretical Criminology, 10(4), 505–532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Stahlkopf, C. (2009). Restorative justice, rhetoric, or reality? Conferencing with young offenders. Contemporary Justice Review, 12(3), 231–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Stake, R. E. (2005). Qualitative case studies. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (pp. 443–466). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Strang, H. (2002). Repair or revenge: Victims and restorative justice. Oxford: Clarendon.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Strang, H. (2004). Is restorative justice imposing its agenda on victims? In H. Zehr & B. Toews (Eds.), Critical issues in restorative justice (pp. 95–105). Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Strang, H., Sherman, L., Angel, C. M., Woods, D. J., Bennett, S., Newbury-Birch, D., et al. (2006). Victim evaluations of face-to-face restorative justice conferences: a quasi-experimental analysis. Journal of Social Issues, 62(2), 281–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Tavuchis, N. (1991). Mea Culpa: A sociology of apology and reconciliation. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Umbreit, M. S. (1994). Victim meets offender: The impact of restorative justice and mediation. Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Umbreit, M. S. (1998). Restorative justice through victim-offender mediation: a multi-site assessment. Western Criminology Review, 1(1). http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v1n1/umbreit.html. Accessed 6 February 2010.
  56. 56.
    Umbreit, M. S. (1999). Avoiding the marginalization and “McDonaldization” of victim-offender mediation: A case study in moving toward the mainstream. In G. Bazemore & L. Walgrave (Eds.), Restorative juvenile justice: Repairing the harm of youth crime. Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Umbreit, M., & Armour, M. P. (2010). Restorative justice dialogue: An essential guide for research and practice. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Umbreit, M. S., & Bradshaw, W. (1999). Factors that contribute to victim satisfaction with mediated offender dialogue in Winnipeg. Journal of Law and Social Work, 9(1), 67–84.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Umbreit, M. S., & Greenwood, J. (2000). Guidelines for victim-sensitive victim-offender mediation: Restorative justice through dialogue. Washington: U.S. Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Umbreit, M. S., & Vos, B. (2000). Homicide survivors meet the offender prior to execution: restorative justice through dialogue. Homicide Studies, 4(1), 63–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Umbreit, M. S., Coates, R. B., & Roberts, A. W. (1998). Impact of victim-offender mediation in Canada, England and the United States. The Crime Victims Report, 1(6), 83–92.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Umbreit, M. S., Coates, R. B., & Roberts, A. W. (2001). The impact of victim-offender mediation: a cross-national perspective. Mediation Quarterly, 17(3), 215–229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Umbreit, M. S., Coates, R. B., & Vos, B. (2002). The impact of restorative justice conferencing: a multi-national perspective. British Journal of Community Justice, 1(2), 21–48.Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Umbreit, M. S., Vos, B., & Coates, R. B. (2005). Restorative justice dialogue: a review of evidence-based practice. Offender Programs Report, 9(4), 49–64.Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Umbreit, M. S., Coates, R. B., & Vos, B. (2006). Victim offender mediation: An evolving evidence-based practice. In D. Sullivan & L. Tifft (Eds.), Handbook of restorative justice: A global perspective (pp. 52–62). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  66. 66.
    United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention. (1999). Handbook on justice for victims. New York: Centre for International Crime Prevention.Google Scholar
  67. 67.
    United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. (2006). Handbook on restorative justice programmes. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Van Ness, D. W. (2004). Justice that restores: from impersonal to personal justice. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work, 23(1/2), 93–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Van Ness, D. W., & Strong, K. H. (2010). Restoring justice: An introduction to restorative justice (4th ed.). New Providence: Matthew Bender.Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Waller, I. (2008). Less law, more order. Ancaster: Manor House Publishing, Inc.Google Scholar
  71. 71.
    Weitekamp, E. (1999). The history of restorative justice. In G. Bazemore & L. Walgrave (Eds.), Restorative juvenile justice: Repairing the harm of youth crime. Monsey: Criminal Justice Press.Google Scholar
  72. 72.
    Wemmers, J. (2002). Restorative justice for victims of crime: a victim-oriented approach to restorative justice. International Review of Victimology, 9, 43–59.Google Scholar
  73. 73.
    Wemmers, J., & Cyr, K. (2005). Can mediation be therapeutic for crime victims? An evaluation of victims’ experiences in mediation with young offenders. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 47(3), 527–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Zehr, H. (2001). Transcending: Reflections of crime victims. Intercourse: GoodBooks.Google Scholar
  75. 75.
    Zehr, H. (2002). The little book of restorative justice. Intercourse: GoodBooks.Google Scholar
  76. 76.
    Zehr, H. (2005). Changing lenses: A new focus for crime and justice (3rd ed.). Scottdale: Herald Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jung Jin Choi
    • 1
  • Michael J. Gilbert
    • 2
  • Diane L. Green
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Youth StudiesKyonggi UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA

Personalised recommendations