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Dispute Resolution
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Community Dispute Resolution

The Department promotes the use of community dispute resolution in a variety of community settings and coordinates a range of conflict resolution activities. Community dispute resolution uses a problem-solving approach to resolve conflict and seeks to teach young people and professionals the skills of getting along. The Department supports community dispute resolution practice and research which has developed within school systems, law enforcement agencies, criminal justice institutions, and communities. The goals are to foster mutual respect between police and communities, to provide young people with the skills to resolve arguments peacefully, to encourage partnerships that build on diversity, to prevent crimes of hate and bias, to offer victim-offender and community mediation, and to engage greater citizen participation in local decision-making. Learn more about these resources by visiting the Community Dispute Resolution site.

Get Help for Your Community

The Community Relations Service (CRS) is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. CRS helps local communities resolve serious racial and ethnic conflicts. Its services are provided to local officials and leaders by trained federal mediators on a voluntary and cost-free basis. The kinds of assistance available from CRS include mediation of disputes and conflicts, training in conflict resolution skills, and help in developing ways to prevent and resolve conflicts. Contact your CRS regional office for help in your community.

Publications that can assist individuals and communities deal with problem situations can be found on the CRS site.


Americans with Disabilities Act Mediation

Many Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) disputes can be resolved successfully through informal methods. Through its ADA Mediation Program, the Department refers appropriate ADA disputes to mediators at no cost to the parties. The mediators in the Department of Justice program are professional mediators who have been trained in the legal requirements of the ADA. If you want to work with a mediator and the other party to resolve an ADA dispute through the Department's program, you can follow the usual procedure for filing a complaint (title II (public entities), title III (private entities)) with the Department and note on the complaint that you want to take your dispute to mediation. While we cannot guarantee that everyone who wants mediation will be able to participate in the program, the Department will make every effort to comply with requests for mediation.

Office of Dispute Resolution

The Office of Dispute Resolution coordinates the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for the Department of Justice. The office is responsible for ADR policy matters, ADR training, assisting lawyers in selecting the right cases for dispute resolution, and finding appropriate neutrals to serve as mediators, arbitrators, and neutral evaluators. The office also coordinates the Interagency ADR Working Group, an organization that promotes the use of ADR throughout federal executive branch agencies, which was created by the President and is chaired by the Attorney General.

For more information about the Department components that are most active in this area, consult the Community Relations Service (CRS), Community Dispute Resolution, and Office of Dispute Resolution web sites.


  Last Updated: 02/23/04

Information for Individuals
and Communities