Source: (1989) In: P. Albrecht and O. Backes (eds.), Crime Prevention and Intervention: Legal and Ethical Problems. New York, NY: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 117-127.A locally-modified version of community mediation was started in the City of Vantaa, Finland, in 1984. This paper reports on the research carried out during the two year experimental project. The author discusses the nature of conflict and possible dispute processing options. The mediation experiment is described. There were 140 mostly criminal cases handled by the service. Mediation seems best where there is true conflict, and differs from other problem solving approaches. Lay mediators seem to have less problem adopting the principles of mediation than people trained in helping professions, who have difficulty to adjust from their role as a problem-solver to that of a communication facilitator. Other considerations are also discussed.