Source: (2004) Papers presented at the Third Conference of the European Forum for Victim-Offender Mediation and Restorative Justice, 'Restorative Justice in Europe: Where are we heading?', Budapest, Hungary, 14-16 October. Downloaded 22 September 2005.

On 1 September 2003, UNICEF entered into agreement with the Government of Serbia and Montenegro and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) to launch a cutting edge Juvenile Justice (JJ) project in Serbia and Montenegro entitled “Children’s Chance For Change�?. This three-year project is supporting the republican governments with their JJ reform efforts aiming at increase in the respect of the rights of children in conflict with the law and harmonisation of the national legislation with the international/European standards of care and protection of children at risk and children in conflict with the law. Having the improvement of care and protection of children in custody as one of the critical activities of the project, the Juvenile Correctional Institution in Krusevac was selected as a pilot site for the development of an alternative and community based care and prevention programme. The Juvenile Correctional Institution in Krusevac (JCIK) is a reform school for children in conflict with the law, charged for comitting crimes at the age 14 and above (14-18 years). It is the most severe sentence that a child between 14 and 16 years of age can get. It is the only institution in Serbia and Montenegro of this kind, and there are between 150 and 200 juveniles residing there. Conflicts between inmates at JCIK are frequent and due to low level of security in the facility, these can result in serious consequences (serious damage of JCIK property, body injuries, self-harming, suicide attempts, suicide). These conflicts frequently have all the characteristics of a criminal act. If they are recognized by authorities at JCIK, they frequently result in disciplinary measures for juveniles. These disciplinary measures range from loosing some privileges to being sent to confinement rooms. These incidents called for the introduction of a conflict resolution method tailored to specificities of JCIK, and the victim-offender mediation (VOM) has been recognised as a suitable one. Having in mind the nature of conflicts between inmates at JCIK, and the fact that it is not always clear who is the victim and who is the offender, but rather both parties are damaging each other, “mediation in conflicts�? is suggested as a more appropriate term to depict the mediation carried out at JCIK. (excerpt)