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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70147 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Suffolk County (NY) Community Mediation Center - An Evaluation Report
Corporate Author: Evaluation Group, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 155
Sponsoring Agency: Evaluation Group, Inc
Glendale, NY 11227
New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services
Albany, NY 12203-3764
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: 2398
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Suffolk County (N.Y.) Mediation Center is evaluated as an alternative to court; its advantages in processing time, costs, and service to citizens are detailed.
Abstract: The Community Mediation Center (CMC) is identified as a way to decentralize the resolution of community conflict by diverting both complaining and responding parties away from police or court toward a setting in which conflict can be resolved through mediation. The emphasis is on the resolution of conflict, not on the determination of guilt or innocence of the parties in conflict. Study methods were indepth interviewing, inspection of available data and program records, and observation of participants. Researchers found that CMC case processing time is approximately one-fourth of that required by the courts, that CMC successfully diverts nearly two-thirds of all cases received, and that CMC requires less time and fewer in-person visits en route to a solution. Only 6 percent of all agreements reached in CMC failed, and per-unit costs were lower than any of the baseline comparison figures identified by the evaluation team. Furthermore, former clients reported satisfaction both with the program and with the followup assistance. Case intake criteria developed by CMC were found to be clearly understood and strictly followed by police, the District Attorney, and other sources of referral. The study's recommendations included the experimental use of central case screening to reduce duplication of effort, the development of a standard misdemeanor and felony court cost index, a fixed limit regarding the maximum number of cases forwarded to CMC each month, and training for all personnel participating in the use of CMC. Diagrams and tabular data are included. Appendixes contain study instruments, selected program forms, relevant correspondence, and approximately 25 references. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Dispute resolution; Evaluation; Mediation; Neighborhood justice centers; New York
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