Mediation: Technical Assistance
The Center’s services include:
- Site visits
- Hands-on assistance
- Research and writing
Site visits are useful vehicles for introducing planners to the concepts and practice of mediation. The Center offers structured tours to all its demonstration projects, including the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, the mediation programs at the Red Hook Community Justice Center and the Harlem Community Justice Center, and the community dispute resolution program at Manhattan’s Midtown Community Court.
On a typical site visit, visitors will:
- meet project staff, who will be available to answer questions;
- meet with a mediator;
- obtain sample documents;
- see how the Center’s internet-based case management system works; and
- brainstorm new approaches to problems back home.
The Center for Court Innovation can provide intensive one-on-one assistance in the establishing of mediation programs.
Assistance is available in five main areas:
1. NEEDS ASSESSMENT
A needs assessment helps pinpoint pressing local problems, providing quantitative and qualitative data to sharpen planners’ understanding of why a new response is necessary.
2. CONCEPT PAPER
Once the problems have been clearly defined, the Center can help planners create a detailed concept paper that spells out the scope and goals of a mediation project.
3. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT
Armed with a clear, detailed idea about how to proceed, the Center can make it happen by helping clients identify funding sources, create a start-up budget, devise new ways to engage community residents as volunteer mediators and enlist other key stakeholders (e.g., police, judges, prosecutors, etc.) who could refer cases to the program. The Center can also provide expertise on information management.
The Center can help planners evaluate the project by establishing performance measures and tracking the project’s ability to meet its stated goals.
Finally, the Center can assist with troubleshooting, helping program managers analyze operations and make mid-course adjustments.
Center for Court Innovation mediation experts regularly speak at conferences, lead workshops, and provide mediation trainings to individuals, groups, or organizations. In August 2004, for example, Center staff presented an in-depth conflict resolution training for 20 local school teachers. The course was designed to give the teachers the tools they need to institute peer mediation programs in their schools. Center mediation experts have also given presentations to the High School for Graphic Communications Arts, trained Community Board 8 members at Gracie Mansion in using a strength-based approach to solve community challenges, trained Health and Human Service Professionals through Good Shepherd Services in mediation, provided conflict resolution trainings to the police officers at the 77th Precinct, and offered trainings to community-based organizations.
The Center is available to provide customized workshops, panels, and trainings to practitioners interested in incorporating mediation principles into their own projects.
Research and writing
Center for Court Innovation researchers are available to conduct original research, including both impact and process evaluations, and to produce publications.
Visit the Research page to learn more about the Center’s research team and its projects.