EFFECTIVENESS

Coates and Gehm (1989, as cited in Umbreit, 1994, p. 18) found that 83% of offenders and 59% of victims were satisfied with the experience, and another 30% of victims expressed that they were somewhat satisfied with the experience (p. 18). The majority of studies have found that mediation has a high rate of victim satisfaction (Severson & Bankston, 1995; Umbreit, 1994). Most victims say, that if given the opportunity, they would participate in VORPs again (Umbreit, 1992, as cited in Niemeyer & Shichor, 1996), and Coates and Gehm (1989, as cited in Umbreit, 1994) cite this number to be as high as 97% (p. 18).

There have been mixed results as to whether VORPS have been effective in reducing the recidivism rate. Many researchers have compared recidivism rates of offenders who participated in VORP to those who did not, and while some found that the recidivism rate for VORP participants was lower, others did not find this same result (Niemeyer & Shichor, 1996).

CONCLUSION

Victim-offender reconciliation programs are being used more and more as the move towards restorative justice increases. People are moving away from incarceration to punish offenders and towards alternatives like victim-offender reconciliation programs. These programs are not yet used on a wide scale basis though, but as society moves away from the retributive approach to criminal justice, this program will be used more extensively.

VORPs have many benefits for the victim, the offender and the community, and they prove to be more satisfying to all parties involved than the traditional process.


BACK CONTENTS NEXT