Source: (2002) Washington, DC: US Dept of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

The first chapter defines mediation as "the informal resolution of a complaint or dispute between two parties through a face-to-face meeting in which a professional mediator serves as a neutral facilitator and where both parties ultimately agree that an acceptable resolution has been reached." The goals of mediation are to achieve understanding of the issues involved in the complaint, solve any problems associated with the complaint, and achieve reconciliation between the parties. The second chapter outlines the potential benefits of mediation for police officers, citizen complainants, police accountability, community policing, the complaint process, and the criminal justice system. The third chapter discusses the key issues in developing a mediation program for citizen complaints against police. Among the issues addressed are voluntary participation, case eligibility, the mediation of racial and ethnic-related complaints, the mediation of complaints by women, potential language and cultural barriers, case screening, police discipline and accountability, and getting both sides to the table. Other issues addressed pertain to the mediation session itself and the enforcement of agreements. Chapter four presents results from a survey of existing citizen complaint mediation programs. The concluding chapter describes a model for a successful mediation program for citizen complaints against police. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.


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