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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148010 Find in a Library
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1994)  Pages:14-19
Author(s): N Thoennes
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 6
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Juvenile courts in Los Angeles County, Hartford (Connecticut), and Orange County (California) use child protection mediation as an alternative to pretrial approaches.
Abstract: Proponents of the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques believe they save court time, strengthen the caseworker's role to the parents, and encourage parents to face up to their responsibilities. Mediation is also thought to be less detrimental to the family than adjudication. Opponents of mediation voice concerns about protecting the child and safeguarding parental rights. Participants in the mediation process usually include the caseworker, legal counsel for the parents, and the guardian ad litem for the child. Issues to mediate relate to the detention hearing, jurisdictional hearing, and dispositional hearing. Settlement rates in mediation ranged from 60 to 80 percent at these three sites; the only differences between mediated and nonmediated plans was the greater likelihood that victims would receive services through mediated agreement. While compliance in general was a problem, the rate of compliance was higher for mediated than nonmediated agreements. Most people involved in mediation at these three courts agreed that mediation is an improvement over other pretrial approaches, it requires a neutral facilitator, and it should be mandatory and confidential in all juvenile courts. 5 notes
Main Term(s): Juveniles
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; California; Connecticut; Juvenile courts; Mediation
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