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


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.


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.



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.


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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

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