Using Mediation to Help
The Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO) works closely with state’s attorney’s offices, community conferencing programs and juvenile justice and criminal facilities to develop programs to resolve conflicts in the areas of juvenile justice. These programs help address underlying conflicts and prevent disputes from escalating and recurring. Here are some examples:
MACRO supports the work of the community conferencing programs statewide, which resolve juvenile justice matters, school-based violence, and multi-party conflicts. Community conferencing services bring together everyone affected by an incident to hear about the incident, discuss its effects on each person, and decide how best to repair the harm and prevent future occurrences. The process holds juveniles accountable for their behavior and helps them get back on the right path.
MACRO also provides support for juvenile justice and criminal facilities to provide access to much needed dispute resolution and conflict management services. These services include post-conviction victim-offender conferences, mediation for detained juveniles, pre-release family mediation for inmates with children, and ongoing conflict resolution skills training for incarcerated men and women.
MACRO provides technical assistance for a wide range of misdemeanor mediation programs within state’s attorney’s offices in rural, urban, and suburban jurisdictions, all of which help build mediation into their case processing using in-house mediators and/or mediation screeners and referrals to community mediation centers.
MACRO serves as a resource for state’s attorney’s office mediation programs, and is working with this network to create videos for attorneys and clients about the value of mediating appropriate criminal complaints.
Criminal case mediation programs generally focus on diverting citizens’ complaints into mediation, with a special emphasis on cases with cross-filed charges and ongoing interpersonal relationships.