Bridging Restorative Justice and Mediation: Insights from Naomi Levav Yoran

In a comprehensive presentation, Naomi Levav Yoran, a seasoned Criminologist and leader of the Restorative Justice program at Mosaica, the Center for Conflict Resolution by Agreement, offered invaluable insights into the nuanced interplay between restorative justice and mediation in community centers. With her rich experience in conflict resolution, mediation, and her contributions to intercultural dialogues, Naomi’s exploration of the subject provided a holistic understanding of the models and their significance within the criminal system.

Naomi began by emphasizing the core purpose of a community mediation center: to foster better communication, mend relationships, and improve the overall quality of life. Herein lie the intricate roles of restorative justice and mediation, each characterized by its distinct approach yet sharing the common goal of resolving conflict.

The crux of Naomi’s argument centered on the clear distinction between the two processes. She elaborated that while restorative justice is rooted within the criminal processes, often categorizing individuals as victims or offenders, mediation, on the other hand, operates without defining the parties involved in such terms. This distinction offers unique vantage points and tools for addressing conflict, making both models valuable within the criminal justice realm.

Highlighting the benefits of housing both services within a single establishment, Naomi underscored the flexibility it provides. Not every conflict is best suited to one singular approach, and having both models at one’s disposal allows for the most appropriate method to be employed. The crucial question she presented was discerning when to identify a scenario as rooted in conflict and when it centers around an offence or injury. To illustrate her points more vividly, Naomi drew upon real-life cases from court and police programs, offering attendees a grounded understanding of the application of both models.

The highlight of her presentation was the in-depth discussion on the overlap between restorative justice and mediation. By pinpointing scenarios where one process may be more preferable than the other, Naomi shed light on the importance of integrated thinking in the overlap, thereby enhancing the efficacy of both programs. This merging of insights not only enriches the understanding of each process but also provides a more holistic and adaptable approach to conflict resolution.

In conclusion, Naomi Levav Yoran’s presentation was a masterclass in understanding the intricacies of restorative justice and mediation within community centers. As someone deeply passionate about fostering understanding and connection between individuals, Naomi’s perspective on the two models served as a testament to the potential that lies in nuanced, adaptable, and integrative approaches to conflict resolution. For professionals, students, and anyone interested in the field, her insights offer a fresh perspective on the path toward a more harmonious society.