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Volunteer Victim Offender Mediation Training
This training applies he principles of restorative justice to prepare participants to facilitate structured dialogues between selected juvenile offenders and their victims. Victim-Offender Mediation provides a unique approach to addressing juvenile crime in Camden, Laclede, Miller, Morgan and Moniteau Counties.
Currently, most young offenders are not held accountable to the victims of their crimes and never see the "human" impact of their actions. In contrast, Victim-Offender Mediation holds youth directly accountable for their actions, asking them to face their victims and take responsibility for repairing the harm they caused. The young offenders benefit from meeting the victims of their crimes. when they realize, often for the first time, that their thoughtless acts hurt others. Additionally, these dialogues offer the opportunity for offenders to make personally meaningful restitution to their victims. Through this process they learn accountability and are reaffirmed as members of the community, thereby decreasing the likelihood that they will re-offend.
These dialogues also offer significant benefits to crime victims, who are often "left out" of the traditional justice process. In Victim-Offender Mediation, victims have the opportunity to explain how they have been affected by a crime and to ask the offender questions like, “Why me?” and “Will you do this again?” Victims also get a direct say in how offenders should be held accountable and how they can repair the harm they've caused. Participation empowers victims, offering them closure and providing peace of mind.
This FREE training for volunteers wishing to serve as mediators in the Juvenile Victim-Offender Mediation program in Camden, Laclede, Miller, Morgan and Moniteau Counties is led by Dr. Charlene Berquist and Heather Blades of the Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR) at Missouri State University. The CDR administers both a juvenile and an adult victim-offender mediation program in Greene County and assists the 26th Circuit in the administration of their juvenile victim-offender mediation program. Funding from the Missouri Division of Youth Services allows the Juvenile Court to provide this two-day training in Osage Beach at no cost for volunteers.
The training includes detailed information on the process of facilitating victim-offender mediations, interactive activities, practice role play scenarios, and much more. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all volunteers as well.
The Juvenile Court is actively seeking volunteers for this program! For more information please contact the Center for Dispute Resolution toll-free at 1-866-905-9998 or CDR@missouristate.edu.