For this month’s Court ADR Connection (RSI’s monthly e-newsletter), I wrote about a study of 10 restorative justice conferences that demonstrated significant benefits to the community by reducing re-offense and to victims by enhancing their emotional well-being. New research from New Zealand provides more evidence of the benefits of RJCs. The study was large, examining re-offense rates of 2,323 individuals aged 17 or over who participated in RJCs and 6,718 matched individuals who went through a police diversion or court process. To be included in the study, the offenders had to plead guilty to a charge in district court. Those who participated in RJCs committed 23% fewer offenses over the next twelve months than the matched group. The proportion of those reoffending was 12% less for the RJC group. However, in the second and third years the difference in re-offense rates between the groups narrowed.
Did you know there is an ADR process called “hot-tubbing?” This was news to me when I heard it mentioned last week at the Court ADR Symposium (which occurs every year on the day before the ABA Dispute Resolution Section Conference). As I understand it, the process is used sometimes in arbitration when there are conflicting expert opinions. Basically, the idea is that rather than simply hear expert testimony from each side sequentially, the arbitrator questions the experts concurrently. Hot-tubbing has been used in court settings in Australia, England and Wales, as well as in arbitration. Read the rest of this entry »
Next week, RSI Executive Director Susan Yates will give two presentations during the ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Conference. During the Symposium on ADR in the Courts on Wednesday, Susan will join a panel discussing the current state of court ADR research. She will offer a first look at a new tool that is coming to our CourtADR.org website, a new way to explore our bibliography of court ADR studies and examine program effectiveness across North America. On Thursday Susan will join a panel discussion on whether mediators should be licensed by the state, and what would be involved in implementing such a process. Mary Novak, RSI’s Resource Center Director, will also attend the conference. If you plan to be in Miami next week, we hope you’ll stop by our table in the Exhibit Hall and say hello.
The field of Alternative Dispute Resolution lost one of our founders this weekend when Dick Salem died. Dick’s core values led him to work in dispute resolution before it was a field. While serving with the U.S. government’s Community Relations Service in the 1960s and 70s, he was mediator at Wounded Knee and when Nazis wanted to march in Skokie, Illinois. Later, he worked extensively in South Africa and then other African countries, most notably Rwanda.
Dick also worked in the Chicago area, which is where I met him back in the 80s. Wherever ADR was the topic, Dick was there. He served on the board of Neighborhood Justice of Chicago (now the Center for Conflict Resolution) when I was executive director and we served together on the board of the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now the Association for Conflict Resolution.) Read the rest of this entry »
In the summer of 2013, RSI received a grant from the Illinois Attorney General to incubate foreclosure mediation programs throughout the state of Illinois. Through the grant, RSI is directly responsible for helping to develop and staff programs in Lake, Kane and Winnebago counties. We have also been tasked with training foreclosure mediators and developing a cloud-based online case management, monitoring and evaluation system for all foreclosure mediation incubation programs throughout Illinois. RSI and our program partners have been busy expanding the reach of foreclosure mediation and we would like to share some exciting progress with you. Read the rest of this entry »