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NCJ Number: 159267 Find in a Library
Title: Process and Outcome in Community Mediation
Journal: Negotiation Journal  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:(October 1995)  Pages:365-377
Author(s): D G Pruitt
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 13
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports the results of a 10-year research program on community mediation in the United States that was conducted by the Dispute Settlement Center in Buffalo, New York.
Abstract: A typical mediation session at the center starts with the mediator who assures disputants their statements will be confidential. In the mediation session, issues are analyzed, alternatives are developed, and disputants reach a decision. One segment of the center's research program involved 36 cases from the Buffalo City Court that were randomly assigned to various mediation conditions, and mediation sessions were watched by two observers. Another segment of the research program involved 73 cases from the Buffalo Dispute Settlement Center and the Neighborhood Justice Project in Elmira, New York. In these cases, mediators tended to hold caucus sessions in which disputants displayed a great deal of hostility toward each other and engaged in minimal joint problem-solving. Most cases in both research segments involved a complaint made by one party against another. Complainants were more competitive than respondents; they made more demands and posed more issues to be solved. Respondents were more critical of their own behavior, took more responsibility for having caused the problem, and made more comments prejudicial to their position. Mediation was hindered by prior escalation and the intrusion of abstract principles of right and wrong. The mediator's strongest tools for achieving a mutually satisfactory agreement involved structuring issues and challenging parties to think about them. In addition, the research effort discriminated between short-term and long-term mediation success. 22 references and 2 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Courts; Dispute resolution; Mediation; Mediators; Neighborhood justice centers; New York
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