The Community Mediation Centres Act was passed by the Singapore Parliament on October 7, 1997, and the first such center was established in January 1998. Its purpose is to give effect to the government's intention to promote mediation as a means of resolving social and community disputes. The act allows the disputing parties to retain control of their dispute through the mediation of a neutral third party. Attendance and participation in a mediation session is voluntary. Matters eligible for referral to mediation are those "concerning a family, social, or community dispute that does not involve a seizable offense under any written law." No dispute can be accepted for mediation except with the consent of the Director of the Community Mediation Centre. Regarding compensation to crime victims, there is no general system of compensation by the state to victims of violent crimes, expect for any person killed while attempting to make an arrest or keep a person in lawful custody. An offender may be ordered by the court to pay compensation on conviction to the victim of the crime. Community service orders have been instituted to enable probationers to make amends for their offenses, not just in service to the general community, but also in service to the victims who have been injured or directly harmed by their offense. Family conferencing has been introduced in the juvenile court to allow the victim, the offender's family, friends, and school teachers to meet in a conference to discuss how to hold the offender accountable and ensure that victim needs are met through restitution and reparation by the offender. The Minister for Home Affairs has community-based sentences will be introduced, including community service orders as a sentencing option on its own and the extension of family conferencing to other than juvenile offenders. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.