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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97345 Find in a Library
Title: Mediation as an Alternative to Civil Rights Litigation (From Discretion, Justice, and Democracy, P 90-101, Carl F Pinkele and William C Louthan, ed.)
Author(s): R A Salem
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Iowa State University Press
Ames, IA 50010
Sale Source: Iowa State University Press
Press Building
Ames, IA 50010
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on a pilot project undertaken by the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the Department of Justice and by district judges in the Seventh Federal Circuit to determine the viability and value of mediation as an alternative to litigation in civil rights cases.
Abstract: CRS' role in resolving racial and ethnic disputes since its establishment by Congress under Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is reviewed, and the interest of judges in the Seventh Federal Circuit in attempting mediation of civil rights cases is discussed. Cases referred to CRS are divided into the following categories: corrections, voting rights, employment, housing, and community involvement. Further, results of CRS mediation are reviewed. Of the 26 cases referred to CRS, 15 were fully resolved, including 5 prison complaints that were settled by a single mediated agreement. In 2 of the 26 cases, the parties advised the court that they had reached a mediated agreement but that final settlement was not achieved; 8 cases were returned to court because CRS was unable to bring the parties to the table. In another case, mediation was terminated when the court of appeals ruled that the matter should be handled by State courts. The possibility of screening referrals to increase the success rate is considered, and the use of mediation instead of litigation is shown to result in significant savings in both time and money. Finally, cases referred for mediation are summarized.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Civil rights; Illinois; Indiana; Mediation; US Department of Justice; Wisconsin
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