Minneapolis Center for Victim–Offender Mediation
An Effective Practice
The Center for Victim–Offender Mediation in Minneapolis, Minn., was initiated by the Minnesota Citizens Council on Crime and Justice in 1985. The center operates within a jurisdiction of 2 million people in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metropolitan area. The program is designed to provide victims with the opportunity to meet their offenders in a safe and structured setting for dialog, negotiation, and problem solving. It was the first such program in a large urban jurisdiction. The center averages more than 900 case referrals a year. The citizens’ council mediation service also has a parent–child mediation program, a school mediation program, and a mediation training program in juvenile correctional institutions.
Goal / Mission
The goal of this program is to Promote and enhance restorative justice dialogue, principles, and practices.
Results / Accomplishments
The evaluation findings demonstrate that victim–offender mediation at each site resulted in juvenile offenders committing considerably fewer additional crimes during the 1-year follow-up period than similar offenders in the court-administered restitution program. They also tended to commit crimes that were less serious than the offense of referral. However, this finding is not statistically significant. Thus the possibility that this effect can occur by chance cannot be ruled out. The evaluation also found high levels of client satisfaction (90 percent of victims and 91 percent of offenders) and perceptions of fairness (83 percent of victims and 89 percent of offenders). Moreover, victims who participated in the mediation process were significantly more likely to view the system as fair than similar victims who did not participate in mediation. The mediation process also had a strong impact on the likelihood of offenders successfully completing their restitution obligation to their victims.
About this Promising Practice
- Primary Contact
- Doreene Langasan, Administrator
Victim–Offender Mediation Association, c/o Center for Policy, Planning and Performance
2233 University Avenue West, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55114
- Public Safety / Corrections
- Victim–Offender Mediation Association
- The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
- Date of publication
- Minneapolis, MN
- For more details
- Target Audience
- Children, Teens