Source: (1986) Contests and Challenges, pp. 85-94, 1986, Joseph E Palenski and Harold M Launer.On July 27, 1981, the New York State Legislature passed Chapter 847, Laws of 1981, creating the Community Dispute Resolution Centers Program. Forty-three of the State's 62 counties have centers. Over 69,000 contracts and referrals are made annually, issuing in approximately 15,000 conciliations, mediations, and arbitrations. The State program is administered by the Chief Administrator of the Courts for the New York Unified Court System. Contracts are drawn up between the Chief Administrator of the Courts and private, non-profit community-based agencies. Up to 50 percent of an annual budget can be awarded through the State. Maximum State awards are set for each involved county. Center representatives have met together to develop uniform reporting procedures and evaluation criteria, and ongoing efforts to inform the public and the justice system about the centers have been mounted. Specific guidelines have been developed for dealing with cases of domestic violence and child abuse. The law requires that all center mediators receive at least 25 hours of training in conflict resolution techniques. For each of the 3 years of the program, the New York Unified Court System has held a national conference on dispute resolution.