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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76812 Find in a Library
Title: Dispute Resolution Centers, Part 2 - Outcomes, Issues, and Future Directions
Journal: Criminal Justice Abstracts  Volume:12  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1980)  Pages:576-611
Author(s): J Garofalo; K J Connelly
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 36
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Dispute resolution centers in the United States are examined with respect to their outcomes, issues related to their philosophies and operations, and future directions.
Abstract: Five evaluation reports which deal with 11 programs are the data source for the discussion of outcomes. These evaluation studies represent the best evaluation work done with respect to dispute centers, and each contains some followup information about disputants. With respect to short-term outcomes, the studies indicate that dispute resolution centers are creating favorable impressions among the parties involved in the mediation process. Satisfaction rates are high in most programs; disputants are generally hopeful that their disputes have been resolved; mediators receive overwhelmingly positive ratings; and most disputants report that they would be willing to bring similar disputes back to the centers. Measures of the long-term outcomes of the mediation process based on disputants' perceptions appear to be consistent with measures based on official records. The indicators show no differences or only small differences between mediated and court-processed cases in the stability of agreements or the emergence of new problems between the disputants. Results also show consistently that dispute resolution centers provide swift dispositions for their clients; those dispositions are much swifter than those of the regular court-processing channels. Cost comparisons of dispute resolution centers and court-processing are rare, so that firm conclusions cannot be drawn. Preliminary results indicate that dispute resolution centers are less expensive. With few exceptions, evaluators have concluded that dispute resolution centers have had minimal success in reducing caseloads and costs in the criminal justice system. Some continuing controversies surrounding dispute resolution centers and future prospects are discussed. Footnotes which contain references are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Dispute resolution; Neighborhood justice centers; Program evaluation
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