“Using the power of conflict to build strong, stable and peaceful communities”


Mediation FAQs

1. Why Mediation?

Mediation offers participants the opportunity to work toward a peaceful conclusion that suits everyone involved.  Participants meet with two professionally trained co-mediators to discuss their conflict in a safe and neutral setting so that they are able to come up with their own solutions, rather than allowing a third party to decide.

2. Is mediation binding?

Not always.  However, if all participants wish for an agreement to be binding, they may reduce it to writing and sign it.  The resulting agreement may be considered an enforceable contract.  Nobody will be forced to sign any agreement resulting from mediation by mediators or Center staff. Participants may choose to sign when they are in agreement with the terms and wish to sign.

3. If mediators do not make decisions or give advice, then what is the point of doing it?

Our trained mediators serve as impartial facilitators of a confidential, problem-solving process in which participants work to resolve their own conflict.  Through proven techniques and processes, mediators help to guide the participants so that they can come up with informed and mutually acceptable solutions.

4. Do I need to provide evidence to support my position?

No, you simply need to be able to tell the other participant(s) why you are there and what you want to resolve, and also to listen to the other participants(s) when they speak.

5. What if I change my mind and do not want to participate?,000 Miles?

Because mediation is a voluntary process from beginning to end,  you will never be forced to participate if you do not wish to do so and can end the process at any time.

6. Do I need a lawyer?

No. You may engage a lawyer if you choose, at any point in the process, but it is not a requirement.

Mediation gives you the structured space to have a productive conversation, directly with the person you’re in conflict with. More often than not, lawyers aren’t needed.

However, since you’re in control of the process, you are free to decide if you need an attorney and as long as the person you’re in conflict with agrees, an attorney is welcome to join you.

7. What if the other participant has a lawyer and I do not?

This is not a problem unless you feel that the situation is unbalanced.  Mediation is voluntary so you do not need to participate unless you want to.

8. Can we meet in person during the pandemic?

We are not conducting in-person mediation sessions in light of the pandemic and are now offering them virtually (via Zoom and other virtual platforms). We will re-evaluate whether we can host in-person mediation sessions as pandemic develops. To participate in a virtual video mediation session, all participants will need access to a device with a video camera, microphone, and a private internet connection.

Community Conferencing FAQs

1. What is a community conference?

A community conference is a voluntary process that allows people in conflict to come together to have a one-time conversation with each other.

2. Why should I attend a conference?

A conference will give you the opportunity to talk about what happened, how you were affected, and talk to each other about what you can do to make things better.

If you attend and it is one of the 98% cases that are successful, it will save you a lot of time and trouble figuring out next steps on your own.

3. What will happen to the respondent - will they be punished?

The participants decide together during the conference what will happen to resolve the conflict.

4. Who is coming to the conference?

Everyone who was involved or affected is invited to participate.

5. Is it mandatory?

No. This is a voluntary process and is free of charge.

6. How long will it last?

It depends on the conversation you need to have. It can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

7. Will I have to take off from work?

Conferences are scheduled at convenient times and locations for all participants, including before or after work, and on weekends.

8. My case is currently in court. Will I still need to go to court after a conference?

Community conferencing is a court diversion process.  If the conference is successful and an agreement is reached, the State’s Attorney’s Office or the Office of Public Defender will work with you to determine if an appearance is necessary. Oftentimes, if a conference is held with enough advance notice to a scheduled court date, you will not need to appear.

9. Do I have to bring my son/daughter?

Yes; the referred youth need to be present. A community conference is the youth’s opportunity to give an account of their involvement in the conflict.

10. Can we meet in person during the pandemic?

As of November 12, 2020, we have stopped conducting conferences in-person (outdoors) and are now offering them virtually (via Zoom and other virtual platforms). We will re-evaluate whether we can host in-person conferences as the weather warms up and the pandemic develops.