Restorative Justice on Trial
Victim-offender mediation schemes have experienced significant growth in the last decade. They are seen as an important and innovative alternative to the traditional sanctions of the criminal justice system. After a critical look at mediation schemes in the United States and Canada, most European countries have also increased their efforts to develop informal strategies to deal with deviant behavior. In terms of their legal and organizational base, it turns out that type, extent, and capacities for development are quite different in the individual countries -resulting in a remarkable diversity of programs with different outcomes. The contributions in this book are revised and edited versions of papers presented at the NATO Advanced Research Workshop Conflict, Crime and Reconciliation: The Organization of Welfare Intervention in the Field of Restitutive Justice in April 1991 at Il Ciocco, Italy. The chapters document the present stage of restorative justice in the individual countries, critically assess legal constraints and public needs, discuss the organizational requirements of implementation, and also evaluate outcomes in a broader context of crime and social policy. In the long run, this book should encourage further debates in the field of restorative justice and help build valid guidelines for an international evaluation research.