Did you know?
Kids -- Kindergarten through 12th grade -- in Connecticut missed 152,000 days of school in a recent year because of discipline issues.
Our children are learning from us – let’s show them a better way.
Research over the last several decades continues to show that there is a better way:
- Over two dozen studies on programs using restorative dialogue in the US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Dutch criminal justice systems show evidence of the positive impact on recidivism and benefits for the victims of crime (for more details, download our Highlights of these studies).
- These studies also show that those who participate have an improved confidence in how the criminal justice system works and that the process was fair.
- Use of court and Law enforcement resources are decreased when mediation is part of the process.
- Use of restorative dialogue in schools helps decrease violent incidents, suspensions and expulsion rates
- Experiencing conflict resolution through dialogue means youth have improved social development and decreased aggressiveness -- a big plus for school climate and academic performance. (For more details download our "Evidence in Schools" summary)
We have also seen these results in our work in Connecticut. The value of the dialogue during mediation shows in the responses to questionnaires from our juvenile mediation program.
Voices of those we have worked with:
- A victim of assault and breach of peace remarked about the mediation process," That [I liked that] I got to tell someone how I felt."
- An offender in an assault case wrote about mediation that he appreciated, "Talking to the other person, (seeing) how he feels."
- A victim in an assault case commented, "This was a good thing to do to help everybody talk things out with each other."
"Conflict Resolution Rap"
by a young teen at at a YMCA where we held
conflict management skill building workshops
New to Escape, Seventh grader with a reputation
Got in trouble "Big G" was the name I was making
Couldn't find a way to resolve my conflicts
As starting sumthing, but couldn't solve it.
It's unbelievable the drama that I had
I couldn't even realize my life was going bad
Always had an angered face, man they called me mean
Couldn't really realize the problems I have seen.
Then at Escape they showed me a class called Conflict Resolution
So finally I found salvation, a brand new solution
Ms. Mary taught me calm down my temper, when I am mad
Just walk away from your problems don't be a big bad
There's no test, when others tease about the way you dress
Just walk away, Say I'm sorry, don't add to that mess.
Mediating a dialogue between people in a conflict situation leads to:
- Safer communities: Data from our program, show that when effective dialogue between a victim and an offender happens, juveniles who participate in mediation are over 70% less likely to re-offend compared to those who do not participate in mediation.
- Humanized society: When meeting face-to-face, the other side in a conflict isn’t just an adversary or faceless victim or offender anymore – they are real people often in complex situations that need to be heard, understood and taken into account.
- Repair of the harm: In criminal matters, the dialogue allows offenders to take personal responsibility for their actions while also allowing victims to direct the way in which the harm is repaired. This has an enduring and more significant impact as compared to punitive responses to unlawful acts.
- The courtroom as a last resort. With a mediator to set the ground rules, the people involved can have a safe, private dialogue. They are the ones to find mutually agreeable, feasible, and lasting ways to resolve the issues. As a result, fewer cases need to go through the judicial system, saving taxpayer’s money.
We have mediated several thousands of people over the years and in those cases where the people agree to come to the table, we help participants reach a resolution over 90% of the time. We serve people from Bridgeport to Waterbury, from Stratford to Danbury, from Derby to Norwalk, partnering with schools, housing agencies, courts, town/city officials, law enforcement and other community service organizations. For more on the restorative dialogue process, please see our “Conflict Resolution in a Nut Shell” page.