This report examines developments in the community-mediation field over the past two decades and reviews the field's major achievements and ongoing challenges.
The first chapter explores the history of community mediation programs, factors that influence their growth, the major types of programs in operation, and major trends in the field. This is followed by a chapter that examines the diversification of services provided by programs and a chapter that reviews resources for program design, support, and funding at the national, State, and local levels. These resources can provide assistance to policymakers and practitioners who are establishing or refining community dispute resolution programs. The next chapter addresses the impact of programs on the quality of justice and case processing efficiency, followed by a chapter that discusses critical issues that confront the community dispute resolution field, including professionalization, funding problems, turf conflicts, debates regarding the purposes of dispute resolution services, and related issues. The concluding chapter presents summary observations on the current status of the community mediation field. Major areas in which initial expectations for the field were exceeded and areas in which they were not are reviewed. The chapter then discusses possible measures that national, State, and local leaders can take to address challenges confronting the field. 8 exhibits and appended selected resource materials
Date Published: July 1, 1997