August 2007: Today, I led the first official victim-offender mediation program in Korean history. Women Making Peace Conflict Resolution Center and Korean Criminal Justice Research Institute are working together on a pilot project on developing a Korean RJ model for school violence victims and offenders. And Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has opened 13 police stations to assist this project.
The case that I mediated involved violence among middle school students and arguments between mothers of victim and offenders. I can’t explain all details about the case, but parties reached an agreement even though offenders still have to go through the juridical process. It was a great learning experience for me to think about peacebuilding and reconciliation.
We are expecting to have more cases in the near future.
April 2007: Upon returning to Seoul, Korea, Jae has worked with the Korea Anabaptist Center as Program Director. One of his projects has grown out of the discipline of restorative justice (RJ):
“I am one of the team members involved in a pilot project of RJ in Korea officially begun in 2006. The Korean Institute of Criminal Justice Policy is developing a Korean model of VOMP in order to apply to school violence. Korean society has tried to find an effective way of dealing with school conflicts and yet there has not been much improvement. With a team of researchers and mediators, we are trying to develop the workable-in-Korea model of VOMP. I have been designing the model, including facilitating the process with cultural sensitivity, deciding who should be involved, and what kind of education the mediator needs.
In addition I have translated and edited some RJ resources into Korean, including Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (MCC, 2003) and Changing Lenses (Herald Press, to be published in 2007).