altogether may result in even more serious miscarriages of justice.
For example, the offering and accepting of bribes (vzyatki) and the misuse of positions of public trust in Russia is seen as entirely normal, a routine part of everyday life. Everyone does it, and everyone knows it, and the practice has permeated all strata of Russian life. It is therefore easy to imagine how this might prove a serious detriment to a mediation program, especially if it would allow criminals a way out of imprisonment. To work effectively, there can be no hint of duress or deceit in a reconciliation program; in present-day Russia, this may not yet be a realistic hope. However, it would ultimately be a tragedy not to try to introduce a restorative philosophy to the Russian criminal justice system, merely because of the chance it might be abused; it could certainly be no worse than the existing system.
Thus, there are provisions within existing Russian legislation which would allow for the development of an experimental Victim-Offender Mediation program, and there are restorative justice activists in Moscow and the United States who are now lobbying for its funding and approval. Signs of obtaining grants to continue training and begin implementation are encouraging at this point.
There are problems, however, which must be overcome in order to introduce Restorative Justice practices in Russia, much as there
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