Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio Grande do Sul
Sistema Penal & Violencia vol:6 issue:1 pages:13-30
One of the debates of restorative justice (RJ) literature is the possible effect that diversionary restorative justice practices (that is, practices implemented within the criminal procedure that may have a direct influence on the outcome of the legal procedure) may have on victims’ experiences. It has been argued that, when implemented within the criminal justice system, restorative justice runs the risk of becoming offender-oriented. This presentation aims to share and discuss results of a qualitative research focused on the experiences of victims of crime who were contacted by Basque and Catalonian mediation programs. Fifty victims were interviewed before mediation and thirty-five were interviewed six months after. These interviewees included participants of direct and indirect mediation as well as victims who refused to take part in mediation. It will be argued that victims value the room for dialogue offered by RJ diversionary schemes but, at the same time, see mediation as a strategy determined by the characteristics of the criminal justice system.