Dispute Resolution Center

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Contents

[edit] General Information

  • Official name: Dispute Resolution Center
  • Country: USA
  • City: St. Paul
  • Type of organization: non-profit organization
  • Date of creation: 1982
  • Interests: Mediation - Training
  • Fields of expertise: Business, Family, Community, Consumerist (…) Disputes

[edit] Description

[edit] History

The Dispute Resolution Center is a private, non-profit community mediation program founded in 1982 to provide mediation, facilitation, training and referral services. The Center is one of six community-based programs in the state of Minnesota and the only provider serving the East Metro area of the Twin Cities. As a community resource, the Center recruits and trains a diverse group of over 60 qualified volunteer mediators to assist neighbors, families, community groups, government agencies, landlords and tenants, schools and businesses to constructively resolve conflict and prevent the need for costly litigation.

The Center's services provide an effective, convenient, affordable opportunity to find positive, satisfactory solutions to many types of community and family problems such as; matters of public safety concerning traffic or parking; rental arrangements; consumer-merchant disputes; neighborhood conflicts about noise, pets or property lines; small claims concerning money, property damage, or breach of contract; and post-divorce visitation concerns about co-parenting and communication between parents and children.

[edit] Mission

Dispute Resolution Center promotes the constructive resolution of conflict through open communication and shared decision-making.

The Dispute Resolution Center:

  • believes that people can resolve disputes respectfully, without litigation, to the mutual satisfaction of all parties.
  • advocates for managing disputes peacefully through the use of problem-solving techniques that help build strong feelings of community.
  • provides the highest quality services possible and ensure that these services are accessible to all residents of the community it serves
  • partners with community members, groups, schools and businesses to develop and maintain an open organization that reflects diversity and welcomes all people.
  • promotes the peaceful resolution of conflict as a preferred method of building healthy communities and reaching new goals.

[edit] Programs

The oldest community-mediation program in Minnesota, DRC is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides volunteer-based mediation, facilitation, training, restorative justice, and referral services. DRC is the only provider of a full-range of free and low-cost and no-cost conflict resolution in Minnesota.

[edit] Issues Addressed

Through mediation, people can voluntarily resolve conflict in a manner that is respectful and satisfactory to all involved. Issues include: community and family issues such as neighborhood conflicts about noise, relationships, property lines, nuisance, vandalism and pets; landlord/tenant issues; small claims matters; business/consume and employment disputes; matters of public policy concerning land use and development, traffic, parking and construction; and family-related issues such as post-divorce visitation schedules, truancy, parent-child relationships, and co-parenting.

[edit] Funding Cuts

  • Elimination of the Ramsey County/Second Judicial Court contract as of 2003 due to the reductions in local government aid.
  • Elimination of state funding due to the budget shortfall: Restorative Justice funding from the Department of Corrections and Victim-Offender Mediation funding from Crime Victim Services.
  • Funding from the City of Saint Paul’s Community Opportunities Partnership eliminated in 2004.
  • Most East Metro municipalities have reduced or eliminated funding.

[edit] Community Restorative Justice Program

Restorative Justice is an ancient, traditional process that indigenous people used to solve many kinds of problems in their communities. The basic concept is that a crime tears the fabric of community, and that the community itself must work with the offender and the victim to repair that fabric. This will restore wholeness to the community, to the victim and to the offender. Restorative Justice practices were gradually replaced by the adoption of the Criminal Justice system, with its focus on punishment (retribution) of the offender.

During the past 40 years, Restorative Justice (RJ) has again come to the attention of the community, starting with the discovery by the Canadian Mennonite community of RJ customs in some First Nation communities, particularly in the Yukon. Minnesota is now considered to be among the leaders U.S. states in using RJ practices.

The Dispute Resolution Center has been involved in RJ for over a decade. DRC engages in two types of restorative methods: (1) Victim/Offender Conferencing and (2) Community Circles. Stephanie Erickson is their newly appointed Director of Restorative Justice.

[edit] What Type of Disputes Does Dispute Resolution Center Handle?

  • Neighborhood - noise, pets, relationships, parking, property lines, nuisances, vandalism…
  • Landlord-Tenant - rent, deposits, repairs, evictions, co-tenants conflicts…
  • Family - post-divorce visitation schedules, parent/child issues, truancy, communication…
  • Small Claims - accidents, money owed, property damage…
  • Business-Consumer - refunds, faulty merchandise, dissatisfaction with service…
  • Public Policy - zoning, land use and development, traffic, parking, road construction…

[edit] Contact

91 East Arch Street St. Paul, MN 55130-4301 - USA

Phone: 651.292.7791

Fax: 651.292.6065

Email: drc-mediation@drc-mn.org

Official Website

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