Victim offender dialogues have been developed as a way to hold offenders accountable to the person they have harmed and to give victims a voice about how to put things right. It is a way of acknowledging the importance of the relationship, of the connection which crime creates. Granted, the relationship is a negative one, but there is a relationship.
Rooted in the practices of native peoples, the intentional act of bringing victims and offenders together has been happening for more than 30 years.
"Conferencing" addresses victims' discomfort with the idea of "reconciliation." It avoids the connotation that victims may negotiate their losses when they hear the term "mediation." "Conferencing" acknowledges the participatory nature of the process. And it gives flexibility about who is included, making room for members of the larger community if appropriate.
This practical Little Book looks at:
- Why someone would participate in a conference
- How the process works
- How very “serious” cases are handled
- Barriers and benefits in the process
Amstutz has been a practitioner and a teacher in the field for more than 20 years.