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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89942 Find in a Library
Title: Community Relations Service - Public Sector Mediation and Conciliation of Racial Disputes
Journal: Journal of Intergroup Relations  Volume:9  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1981)  Pages:46-53
Author(s): G R Pompa
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Department of Justice's Community Relations Service (CRS) helps communities settle race-related disputes through conciliation or mediation and has responded recently to complaints regarding police use of excessive force, Ku Klux Klan activities, and the influx of Indochinese resettlements.
Abstract: CRS's greatest assest is its third-party neutrality role, since it enters a community on request with no investigative powers or authority to dispense funds. Its triracial, bilingual staff can provide informal conciliation, formal mediation, or technical assistance so the community can resolve racial conflicts without resorting to litigation or violence. The CRS initially operated in the southeastern United States, but then became involved in the larger urban centers in the North. The CRS responded to 1,431 alerts to racial disputes or incidents in fiscal year 1980. The CRS logged 249 cases alleging police use of excessive force, a 92.8-percent increase over the previous year. The complaints were distributed evenly nationally, and 63 percent stemmed from blacks, 32 percent from Hispanics, and 4 percent from American Indians. There were 68 cases related to Klan activities and 32 percent to Indochinese refugee resettlements, increases of 55 percent and 540 percent, respectively. The need for CRS is likely to grow as racial antagonisms increase and public resources for domestic programs decline. Potential areas for CRS intervention include implementation of school desegregation, prison uprisings, police-community relations, school disputes with parent organizations, and job discrimination. The article contains two footnotes.
Index Term(s): Arbitration; Citizen grievances; Community conflict; Community Relations Service; Dispute resolution; Mediation; Minorities
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