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How Police Departments Can Benefit From Referral to Community Mediation Programs

NCJ Number
Police Chief Volume: 70 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2003 Pages: 72-74,77
Craig Coletta
Charles E. Higginbotham
Date Published
August 2003
4 pages
This article provides a brief overview of community mediation programs and the benefit and value to police departments from referral to these programs.
Community mediation programs have provided low cost or free conflict resolution services since the early 1970's. In mediation, parties to a dispute meet with a neutral third party who is trained to facilitate communication between them and help them explore the options. In many States, State-funded community mediation programs have become a part of the official justice system. As police departments face reduced budgets and experience an increase in calls for service and responses to community, mediation offers an effective solution. About 85 percent of the cases that go to mediation reach some type of resolution. This article provides law enforcement officials with an overview of mediation and specifics on what cases are appropriate for mediation and establishing relationships, training, and referring cases.