Volume 1: Restorative Justice: For Victims, Communities, and Offenders
Criminal and juvenile justice systems tend to be entirely offender focused, what some have called an attitude of "trail em, nail, and jail em." Victims receive little assistance and have even less input into the process of doing "justice." In contrast, restorative justice focuses on placing crime victims, communities, and offenders in active roles to work together to:
- Empower victims in their search for closure.
- Show offenders the real human impact of their behavior.
- Provide opportunities to offenders to take direct responsibility to make things right.
- Promote restitution to individual victims and victimized communities.
Restorative Justice views crime as an act of harm against individual victims and members of the community - not just against the "state." The criminal justice process needs to ensure that offenders repair this harm, respond to victims compassionately, fairly, and justly, and promote safe and secure communities. This 25-minute video is an excellent resource for broad-based public education about the growing international restorative justice movement. Adapted from the Presbyterian Church USA's "Restoring Justice" video, this version includes research material and resources available in the field. The development of restorative justice in numerous and diverse communities throughout the United States is highlighted. Internationally recognized experts in the field, including Kay Pranis, Mark Umbreit, and Howard Zehr, offer comments and many visual examples of restorative justice interventions are presented.
Volume 2: Restorative Justice: Victim Empowerment through Mediation and Dialogue
The process of victim/offender mediation is briefly described, with an emphasis on the benefits for those crime victims who voluntarily chose to meet with the offender. Comments by a diverse group of crime victims who have participated in a dialogue with the offender are presented, including their needs and concerns prior to meeting the offender, what occurred in the mediation session, and their description of the benefits they received. Several key research findings on the impact of victim/ offender mediation on crime victims are briefly highlighted.
Having begun more than two decades ago, the field of victim/offender mediation has developed extensively throughout North America and Europe. There are now more than 300 programs in the United States, 26 in Canada, and more than 700 in Europe. This video emphasizes the importance of voluntary participation and victim sensitive practices throughout the restorative justice process with a focus on property crimes and minor assaults. An excellent resource for current programs, or for any organization considering the development of such a program, It is particularly helpful to victim assistance agencies and even individual victims who may be considering either supporting or directly participating in the mediation/dialogue process.
Volume 3: An Overview of Victim Offender Mediation and Conferencing
An overview of the core principles of restorative justice and the victim offender mediation/conferencing process is provided. The importance of adapting restorative justice practices to the expressed needs and cultural context of the people involved is emphasized. Two specific examples are illustrated:
- a one-on-one meeting between victim and offender
- a meeting with support persons present in addition to the victim and the offender.
The use of a single mediator or co-mediators is modeled. The impact upon the immediate individuals and families involved, as well as others in the larger community is addressed. Encouraging both offenders and those who have been victimized to bring a support person(s) to the actual mediation session is emphasized, while also respecting their choice to have a more intimate one-on-one meeting.
Practices that make the mediation/dialogue process more victim sensitive, and ultimately more offender sensitive, are identified. The importance of preparation is emphasized throughout the entire video. Intended as a brief overview to inform and guide the viewer through two restorative justice dialogue approaches, this video does not demonstrate in detail the steps required for skilled application of each approach. It is however a particularly helpful informational resource to use during brief presentations or workshops.
Volume 4: Victim Offender Mediation and Conferencing: A Multi-Method Approach
An overview of the core principles of restorative justice and the victim offender mediation/conferencing process is provided. The importance of adapting restorative justice practices to the expressed needs and cultural context of the people involved is emphasized. Three specific examples are illustrated. First, the use of small group sessions is shown: a one-on-one meeting between victim and offender, next a conference with support persons present, and third a brief portrayal of a larger group conference involving neighbors and family members. Options for conducting a restorative meeting are presented, including single mediator and co-mediated sessions, bringing in support people, and offering choices for seating arrangements. The impact upon the immediate individuals and families involved and the larger community is addressed.
The importance of preparation is emphasized throughout the entire video. Specific examples are presented, including characteristics of humanistic dialogue-driven mediation such as the importance of: separate pre-mediation meetings, connection with those involved but remaining impartial, thorough preparation for the eventual dialogue, and the use of a non-directive mediation style in which the mediator is very much in the background. Practices that make the mediation/dialogue process more victim sensitive, and ultimately more offender sensitive, are identified. Intended as an overview to inform and guide the viewer through a range of restorative justice dialogue approaches, this video does not demonstrate in detail the steps required for skilled application of each approach. Yet it is a helpful informational resource to use during general presentations about restorative justice conferencing and in training seminars.
Volume 5: Complete Victim Offender Mediation and Conferencing Training Modeling Two Cases from Preparation to Mediation
Following a brief presentation of several key points central to the victim offender mediation/conferencing process, two case examples are presented in detail, modeling both the preparation process and the actual face-to-face meeting. The first case involves a home burglary by a young adult in which after being encouraged to bring a support person(s), both the victim and offender choose to meet one-on-one. A single mediator (Mark Umbreit) facilitates the face-to-face dialogue.
The second example is a case of juvenile vandalism perceived as a hate crime against an African American woman. The offender's mother participates in the dialogue; the victim has both her brother and a neighbor present at the meeting. This case, facilitated by co-mediators (Carolyn McLeod and Richard Powell), highlights key elements of culturally sensitive mediation practices. Each case concludes with a signed agreement for repair of the harm caused by the crime.
This two-hour video is a valuable resource for training mediators/facilitators in the details of the entire victim offender mediation/conferencing process.
Volume 6: Victim Sensitive Offender Dialogue in Crimes of Severe Violence
During recent years, a growing number of victims and family survivors of severely violent offenses—homicide, attempted murder, sexual assault, and others—have requested a meeting with the incarcerated offender. There are more than 20 states developing and/or operating statewide programs to respond to such requests. Victims who initiate these meetings with the perpetrator often seek answers to lingering questions, want to express the devastating effect of the crime on their lives, and seek to gain a greater sense of closure so that they can move on with their lives.
In this video, an overview of the victim sensitive dialogue process in crimes of severe violence is provided by Dr. Mark Umbreit of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota. The importance of victim sensitive procedures and humanistic, "dialogue-driven" mediation is highlighted. Segments of separate preparation meetings with the victim and the offender/inmate are shown, followed by a face-to-face meeting of the victim and offender in the presence of a highly trained mediator and co-mediator. The case portrayed is a simulation of an actual murder case.
Comments from victim advocates and the Director of the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation are offered at the end of the tape. This video is both an informational presentation for those unfamiliar with this intervention, and can be used in actual advanced training.
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