Source: (2003) In, Elmar Weitekamp and Hans-Jurgen Kerner, eds. Restorative Justice in Context: International Practice and Directions.Devon, UK and Portland Oregon: Willan Publishing. Pp. 80-94.

In the 1990's, the Fachstelle mediation program noticed an increase in the number of cases concerning criminal offenses in or near schools, including primary, secondary, and high school. The offenses committed involved mainly bodily harm and sometimes sexual harassment. Nearly all criminal acts arose out of ongoing conflict whose escalation was not prevented at an early stage. The program is composed of different building blocks comprising several target groups, such as pupils, teachers, and parents. The program provided the following tools: class council/conference, supervising/coaching, external mediation, and peer mediation. The pilot program concerning conflict resolution and peer mediation consisted of several modules that were tailor made into an individual program for each school. These modules were peer mediation training, basic training in conflict resolution, consultation hours for pupils, supervising/coaching for teachers, vocational training for teachers, discussions/consultations for parents, and external mediation. Recent research, conceived as assessment and evaluation, consisted of observation, standardized questionnaires, and group discussion. Results show that pupils were very seriously engaged in the training program, even investing their leisure time. There were no dropouts. The training groups were composed of pupils of very different ethnic and social backgrounds, often with problematic backgrounds. The basic training was widely accepted and found to be useful. As far as the peer mediation was concerned, a sufficient number of participants volunteered in every school. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,