Victim-Offender Mediation

Posted: March 31, 2010 in Justice, Peace

There are many terrific reasons to come to law school at Pepperdine, most of which I’ve discovered after my arrival here. But of the initial reasons in my little brain, the national reputation of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution was at the very top of the list.

I suspect I will be a lawyer, though I remain open to other ideas. I’ve come to law school, I’m preparing to be a lawyer, and I’m totally fine with being a lawyer. But I didn’t choose law school with that as a foregone conclusion.

I was attracted to the Straus Institute mainly because I felt my natural abilities are a match with the skill set associated with Alternative Dispute Resolution, but also because I like the very concept of thinking outside the box. Of recognizing that the status quo usually isn’t satisfactory, and in turn, exploring what might be a path to something better.

I don’t know that yesterday was a breakthrough moment for me or anything, but what I do know was that I ran across a concept in my reading and subsequent class in Mediation Theory that resonated with me quite deeply. It is a concept known as Victim-Offender Mediation.

I found the article from our text on the Web. It is only 2 1/2 pages in our textbook, so as readings go for me anymore, quite short. Instead of my trying to explain it, I’d prefer anyone interested in what I think be introduced to it the same way I was, so I’ll just share the link HERE.

All I’ll say is that what draws me to the concept is that I have come to understand Jesus as primarily a healer, and in that role, one who was focused on the twin ideas of Peace and Justice. And that Victim-Offender Mediation seems to me to go straight to his heart.

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