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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74979 Find in a Library
Title: Voluntariness, Consent and Coercion in Adjudicating Minor Disputes - The Neighborhood Justice Center (From Policy Implementation, 1980, P 131-158, John Brigham and Don W Brown, ed. - See NCJ-74975)
Author(s): C B Harrington
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper examines dimensions of coercion and noncoercion in the ideology of delegalization through a case study of one community mediation program.
Abstract: Delegalization uses alternative models of adjudication for minor disputes. The Kansas City Neighborhood Justice Center (KCNJC) provides an illustration of some of the policy implications of the current reform movement in minor criminal and civil adjudication. Questions arise as to whether mediation and arbitration are voluntary processes and whether delegalization is more accurately viewed as symbolic reform employing coercion to extend the State's role in minor dispute processing. The category 'minor disputes,' as used by delegalization reformers, includes criminal and civil disputes involving small amounts of money. Data were gathered at the Kansas City Neighborhood Justice Center, a governmentally sponsored dispute resolution center. While parties are viewed as participating voluntarily in the process, institutional coercion arises from the use of binding arbitration. The referral process to the KCNJC from courts, judges, prosecutors, and clerks contains a subtle element of coercion for individuals to accept the alternative. In general, the creation of a tribunal to adjudicate minor disputes, mostly order-maintenance problems, in an individualized therapeutic style implies a transformation in order-maintenance policy which extends the scope of legal authority and the State's role in identifying and channeling order-maintenance problems. Tables, 21 notes, and 62 references are appended. For related articles, see NCJ 74975.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Civil remedies; Dispute processing; Neighborhood justice centers
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