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Community Mediation in Dorchester, Massachusetts

Felstiner, W.L
June 4, 2015

Source: (1982) In: R. Tomasic and M.M. Feeley (eds.), Neighborhood Justice: Assessment of an Emerging Idea. New York, NY: Longman Inc, pp. 111-153.

This analysis of the mediation component of the Dorchester Urban Court (Massachusetts) found that mediator training is crucial to mediation effectiveness, that high-volume mediation projects tend to have important links to the criminal justice system, and that it is difficult to judge mediation programs on a cost basis. The program substitutes lay mediation for criminal prosecution in cases where the victim and defendant are not strangers. The study examined the project’s training program, the structure of mediation sessions, referral sources, caseload and caseload problems, and compared the costs of mediation to court costs saved.


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