Source: (1989) In: M. Wright and B. Galaway (eds.), Mediation and Criminal Justice: Victims, Offenders and Community. London, UK: Sage Publications, pp. 140-151.

This chapter reports on Finland's first community mediation project began in 1983 in the city of Vantaa, near Helsinki. The organizational structure of the Vantaa mediation project is described. The project accepted both criminal and civil cases directly from the public or from the authorities (police and prosecutors primarily). Most cases were of a petty criminal nature or involved complex, unclear disputes. During the course of the project, mediation changed its focus from conflict resolution process to aiding the official legal system in deciding on compensation and has become primarily an addition to the formal system. Concern is raised regarding the program's net-strengthening effect as the scheme begins to spread to other major cities in Finland.