Diversion and mediation program is a new mechanism for exempting juveniles from criminal liability. It is the goal of the program to exempt a juvenile from criminal liability, if he / she committed less grave crime first time. The new program serves for diverting a juvenile from the chain of criminal justice system and criminal records and also supports restoration of justice, prevents recidivism, improvement of a juvenile and finally raising of law abiding person.
Purpose of the mediation is to settle a juvenile and victim, to improve emotional and material outcomes of the crime. Mediator plays a central role in the mediation – person with proper qualification, that moderates the process.
Mediation process is composed of two stages, pre-conferencing stage and mediation conference. It is the function of the mediator to facilitate dialogue between the parties at the first pre-conference stage. At this stage, mediator separately gets in touch with a juvenile and victim. Speaks to them on the sense, goals and rules of mediation, passes detailed information on the possible conditions of the contract, and also gets consent from the parties on these conditions. Mediator holds individual meetings with the victim, as well as juvenile. His / her primary goal at that stage is to get voluntary and informed participation in the mediation process and reach consensus between the parties on the possible conditions of the contract.
At the second – final stage, mediator moderates the conference. Aim of this conference is to understand the action committed by a juvenile and its outcome. Parties have opportunity to express their views regarding the action committed and its outcomes. At this stage, the role of a mediator is to moderate the conference. (facilitate)
During the conference, as well as during the mediation process, mediator is obliged to be impartial, objective and independent, not give advantage to any parties. Besides that, it is extremely important that mediator is capable to ensure safe environment for parties, encourage parties to express their views and positions during the direct dialogue.
Mediation agreement is the outcome of successful mediation, that should reflect the agreed plan of damage reimbursement and other rights and duties of the parties.