Source: (1992) In: G. Davis (ed.), Making Amends: Mediation and Reparation in Criminal Justice. London, UK: Routledge, pp. 177-189.

The first programs of victim-offender mediation in the Federal Republic of Germany were set up in the mid 1980s, principally in the field of juvenile justice. The ascendancy of educational principles within juvenile justice remains precarious since there is no clear explanation of what is meant by education, nor of what is intended to achieve this. For example, punishment is often seen as a means of securing educational goals, suggesting that there is a blurring of boundaries. This paper describes the development of victim-offender mediation, critiques some programs and considers the future prospects of these programs. The potential of victim offender mediation as an interactive process is discussed. The author suggests that punishment is ineffective in changing behavior and calls for a system based upon the practice of fairness.