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Facing Violence: The Path of Restorative Justice and Dialogue

Mark S. Umbreit, Betty Vos, Robert B. Coates, and Katherine A. Brown
Facing Violence: The Path of Restorative Justice and Dialogue
ISBN: 978-1-881798-45-3
2003/395 pages
A CriminalJusticePress Project

"Essential reading for serious students and professionals of both restorative justice and victim assistance."—Marlene A. Young, National Organization of Victim Assistance

"How does one measure healing? It is a difficult question, but one that this book tackles in a well-researched, clear manner."—Daren A. Wheeler, The Law and Politics Book Review

"Should be required reading for any individual, agency or collaborative initiative that seeks ways to better serve victims of crime, hold offenders accountable, and promote safety in our homes and communities."—Anne Seymour, Justice Solutions


Can restorative justice be effective in cases involving the most serious violent crime? The authors of Facing Violence evaluate pioneering programs in Texas and Ohio that employ mediation/dialogue techniques in homicide, rape, and other cases involving extreme violence. Their findings document the positive impact that these programs have had not only on the lives of victims and offenders, but also on restitution payments, recidivism, and costs. They also offer research-based policy and practice guidelines to aid program planners.


Mark S. Umbreit is founder and director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Betty Vos and Robert B. Coates are senior research associates at the center. Katherine A. Brown is a mental health administrator for the Ohio Department of Corrections.


  • Introduction.
  • Restorative Justice Through Dialogue.
  • Victim Offender Mediation: What the Research Tells Us.
  • Texas Case Studies.
  • Texas Victim Offender Mediation/Dialogue Program: A Staff and Volunteer Perspective.
  • Texas Victims: Experience and Impact.
  • Texas Offenders: Experience and Impact.
  • Ohio Case Studies.
  • Ohio Victim Offender Dialogue Program: A Staff and Volunteer Perspective.
  • Ohio Victims: Experience and Impact.
  • Ohio Offenders: Experience and Impact.
  • Results of the Study.
  • Summary of Findings from Participant Interviews.
  • An Emerging Typology of Programs.
  • Conclusions and Implications.
  • Analysis of Capital Cases.
  • Humanistic Dialogue: A Practitioner Perspective.