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When individuals break the law they harm their victims, society, and themselves. Restorative justice is about healing and addressing wrongs that have been committed and repairing the relationships in the community.
About Victim-Offender Dialogue/Mediation
This training applies the principles of restorative justice to prepare participants to facilitate structured dialogues between selected juvenile and adult offenders and their victims.
These dialogues offer individuals impacted by crime the opportunity to explain how they have been affected by a crime and to ask the person who committed the offense questions like, “Why me?” and “Will you do this again?” Participation empowers victims, offering them closure and providing peace of mind.
Offenders also benefit from meeting the victims of their crimes. By putting a human face on their crimes these youth and adults realize that their thoughtless acts hurt others, and they often feel empathy for their victims for the first time. Additionally, these dialogues offer the opportunity for those who commit offenses 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.
Volunteers with the CDR’s Victim-Offender Mediation Program serve as mediators who facilitate dialogues between selected offenders and the victims of their crimes.Volunteers are highly trained to help both parties talk about what happened and work toward a restitution agreement. These agreements are designed to repair the harm caused by the crime – this includes harm done to the individual victims and to the community as a whole. These restitution agreements may encompass the payment of monetary restitution, community service, or other creative options.
Volunteers are assigned to cases in pairs and work as co-mediators. They meet separately with both the offenders and the victims prior to the mediation. Then, if both parties are willing, the mediators arrange and facilitate a mediation. Both the initial meetings with the parties, as well as the mediation itself, may be scheduled at times that are convenient for everyone involved, including evenings and weekends. Any restitution agreement that is reached is forwarded to either the Greene County Juvenile Office (in cases with juvenile offenders) or the Greene County Prosecutor's Office (in cases with adult offenders).
Volunteers with the CDR’s Victim-Offender Mediation Program should expect to mediate about one case per month, which is approximately a 3-5 hour monthly commitment.
About this Training
This training covers basic restorative justice principles and will prepare participants to conduct Victim-Offender Mediations with juvenile and adult offenders. No prior mediation experience is necessary to become a volunteer victim-offender mediator with the Center for Dispute Resolution. Additional follow-up training will be provided to program volunteers
The training fee is waived for approved individuals who make a 1-year commitment to volunteer (apx. 3-5 hours per month) for the Center for Dispute Resolution’s Victim-Offender Mediation program. Space in the training is limited, so interested individuals are encouraged to register as early as possible. Completion of a background check is required for all program volunteers. The registration fee for those who cannot make the 1-year volunteer commitment is $150.
For More Information
For more information please call 417-836-8831 or email CDR@MissouriState.edu.