This paper provides an overview of 40 years of victim-offender mediation evaluation research. This research demonstrates that victims and offenders are more satisfied with the process and outcomes than with the courts, they are more likely to draft and complete restitution agreements, they derive psychosocial benefits, the process is less expensive, crime victims are more likely to receive apologies from offenders, and offenders are less likely to recidivate. These benefits are not necessarily uniformly distributed. This “first wave” research provides a platform for the second wave, currently underway. To contextualize these findings, current and future victim-offender mediation practices are outlined.
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