From restoration to transformation: Victim-offender mediation as transformative justice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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In this essay I make the case that victim offender mediation (VOM) adheres to a kind of legal formalism characteristic of relations among lawyers, clients, and the courts. I contend that mediators guide restitution agreements toward activities consistent with dominant cultural interests. Mediators cajole offenders to engage in secondary sector labor market activities, and demonstrate a commitment to dominant cultural norms and values. Having established the system-reproducing aspects of VOM, I conclude by arguing that there is a place for critical application of VOM to perennial social problems in our cities and rural communities. A two-stage process is recommended to achieve this end: (1) offenders must acknowledge harm done to offenders, and (2) offenders must be required to attend critical literacy workshops. It is my belief that when offenders are exposed to the process of uncovering dominant cultural manifestations of power, a truly emancipator praxis unfolds. In this way, mediators are viewed as transformative intellectuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPostmodernist and Post-Structuralist Theories of Crime
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages219
ISBN (Electronic)9781351553544
ISBN (Print)9781315089584
StatePublished - Jul 5 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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