Tackling youth crime has been one of the biggest challenges of crime policy. Nowadays, youth delinquency is dealt with in a preventive and restorative manner. The legislative reform effected in the Greek juvenile justice system with Act 3189/2003, introduced reconciliation approaches between minor offenders and their victim (s). These restorative mechanisms are stipulated by law as a rehabilitative measure namely as a penal consequence imposed on young offenders by a court decision or, in cases of diversion from prosecution, by a Prosecutor for Minor Offenders with the aim of educating them.
Mediation takes place within the Juvenile Probation Service. This paper presents the results of an exploratory study carried out in two Juvenile Probation Services both located in Attica. Special focus has been placed on whether the application of mediation and reconciliation techniques in Greece follow the general theoretical principles of restorative justice and on whether the role of the Greek Juvenile Probation Officers as mediators in the juvenile justice system is indeed important and instrumental to the successful outcome of the process. One of the dominant conclusions is the need to strengthen the role of the Greek Juvenile Probation Officers as facilitators of victim offender mediation, since their work streamlines the judicial process and links the courts, offenders and victims with the community in order to preserve public safety and to effect crime desistance.
Key words: youth crime, juvenile offender, juvenile justice, juvenile probation officer, mediation, reconciliation, reparation/restoration, prevention, crime desistance.