Victim-Offender-Mediation in Germany (TOA)
on-going since 1993; annually
Federal Ministry of Justice and Administration (BMJV)
Office and Statistics
Universität Tübingen, Forschungsgruppe Täter-Opfer-Ausgleich
Servicebüro für Täter-Opfer-Ausgleich, Köln
The German VOM-Statistics is a collaborative documentation on VOM-cases, which started in 1993 and has been funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung for the first three years and since then by the German Federal Ministry of Justice. It is the only source in Germany that collects data with a national scope in a standardized, comparable data set on a long term basis. The German VOM-Statistics was developed by the VOM Research Group in Germany (Forschungsgruppe Täter-Opfer-Ausgleich), which is an ongoing academic cooperation including also the German VOM Service Office (www.toa-servicebuero.de). Since 2013 the office of the group, where the data are collected and analysed, is located at the Institute of Police and Security Research (IPoS).
Victim-Offender-Mediation is still the predominant form of Restorative Justice in Germany. Conferences and circles could not achieve widespread practice so far. But virtually all projects practices expanded VOM and involve supporters for victims and offenders according to the wishes and needs of victims and offenders.
All German VOM-projects were and still are invited to join in, and every participating institution gets back, if wished and as a service, an individual report of the particularities of their cases and the overall case flow. If a project takes part, it has to document all its cases - whether successful or not - with a standardised questionnaire that contains about 60 items for every case, regarding (a) the case and its progress itself, (b) particularities of the offender(s) involved, and (c) particularities of the victim(s) involved. As the participation is voluntary, and since still some institutions refrain from joining in, the VOM-statistics can not be considered representative for all VOM-projects in Germany in a strict sense. In substance, however, all criteria we can use, including reports published by non-joining projects themselves, indicate that the VOM-Statistics gives an at least valuable, if not valid and reliable, impression on the VOM-scenery in Germany with one Limitation: there are many institutions in Germany that offer VOM beside other main tasks and carry out only some few cases a year if any. Such projects are not participating in the VOM-statistics. The average caseload of those VOM-projects participating in the VOM statistics is more than 100 cases a year. Therefore the data is valid only for projects, who seriously practice VOM. From available data we can assume that about 16 % of all institutions offering VOM in Germany participate in this statistics, but the participating institutions carry out about 70 % of all VOM cases in Germany. Reports are published on a bi-annual basis with the last dating from 2020 reporting data till 2018. In 2018 the 72 participating projects completed 7.367 cases with 9.043 victims and 8.692 offenders.
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