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Victim Offender Mediation Association

What people are saying about victims and offenders

Links to magazine and newspaper articles about victims and offenders.


Reports by practitioners of their activities.


Articles by scholars and practitioners too large for Connections. Some of these articles reside on other servers and are linked here. Their links will open a new window on another web site.

Domestic Violence

Implementing Local Restorative Justice Programs

Gender Issues

  • "Keeping an Open Mind: A Look at Gender Inclusive Analysis, Restorative Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution," by the Provincial Association Against Family Violence, Newfoundland, Canada. Originally published 1999. Reprinted by permission. (Posted 7/1/2002)

    "Keeping An Open Mind: A Look At Gender Inclusive Analysis, Restorative Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution" was developed using an interest-based process by a Project Reference Group consisting of representatives from community, government, and advocacy based groups. It attempts to clarify commonalities and differences between the many dispute resolution processes, identify various alternatives within the justice system, and introduce core concepts of gender analysis. Caution boxes are inserted into the text to highlight program and policy concerns that have an impact on women (particularly women who are victims of violence) involved in the justice system.

  • "Making It Safe: Women, Restorative Justice and Alternative Dispute Resolution," by Provincial Association Against Family Violence Newfoundland and Labrador. Originally published July 2000. Reprinted by permission. (Posted 7/2/2002)

    This writing aims to increase awareness about the dynamics of abuse and violence on women participating in programs based on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice. The guiding principles, introduction to gender analysis, discussion and questions posed will deepen program and policy analysis and help both policy makers and program organizers respond to women's diverse needs.

The Empowerment Model of Restorative Justice

Charles Barton's model described in three papers re-printed by permission, see individual papers for prior publication details. Posted May 2, 2001.

  • "Empowerment and Retribution in Criminal and Restorative Justice". Abstract: Contrary to the implied suggestion in many restorative justice critiques of the status quo, the chief strength of restorative justice interventions does not lie in their rejection of punitiveness and retribution, but the empowerment of communities of care who are the most likely to respond effectively to both the causes and the consequences of criminal wrongdoing. Thus, it is the empowerment of affected stakeholders on both sides that is the crucial feature of restorative justice, and the feature whose absence causes both conventional and restorative justice to fail.
  • "Restorative Justice Empowerment". Abstract: According to traditional wisdom, determining the just and fair (or the best and most appropriate) response to a criminal act is best left to trained and specialised criminal justice professionals. Restorative justice philosophy holds the opposite view, that such decisions are best made by the principal parties (victim and offender) themselves, and preferably in dialogue with one another in the presence of their respective communities of care and support (typically family and friends). Thus, the fundamental difference between conventional and restorative justice can be most usefully articulated by reference to this one concept: empowerment. That is, empowerment of the key stakeholders in the responses of the criminal justice system to wrongful and criminal acts so that the matter is resolved in ways that are meaningful and right for them.
  • "Theories of Restorative Justice". Abstract: The growing prominence of restorative justice interventions necessitates a reconceptualization of criminal justice in terms of a new paradigm. The most plausible candidate for this is an empowerment paradigm of justice. However, an overarching theory of criminal justice in these terms needs to be complemented by more fine-grained theoretical explanations of how and why conventional and alternative criminal justice interventions work the way they do. The paper discusses four such explanations:
    1. Reversal of moral disengagement
    2. Social and moral development
    3. Emotional and moral psychological healing
    4. Reintegrative shaming

The Macro Perspective on Restorative Justice

Papers applying RJ principles at the societal level.


Last modified September 30, 2005. Maintained by Duane Ruth-Heffelbower.
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