This paper explores a far less prevalent variant of juvenile restitution, distinguished by the use of mediation to reconcile victims and offenders and to establish the specific terms of restitution by consensus. In addition to general discussions of restitution and mediation, a more focused descriptive profile of mediation interventions in juvenile restitution for Dallas, Texas, is presented. Drawing from case materials and the direct involvement of the authors as third party neutrals in juvenile restitution, the mediation component of this program is further scrutinized for its adequacy for addressing needs of victims and offenders within what Zehr identifies as retributive and restorative paradigms of justice.2 The mediation of juvenile restitution cases demonstrates considerable promise as a process of restoring good will. Narrower, circumscribed views and practices of restitution as a mechanism simply of recovering property value and/or sanction, it will be argued, unnecessarily forego opportunities to address lingering needs of victims, offenders, and the community. Finally, selective dimensions of performance, more suitable for restorative rather than conventional strategies, are proposed. These speak to and accentuate the unique program outputs and impacts of alternative, consensus-based justice programs.



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