|This exploratory study examined police use of mediation as understood by those who are among those most likely to know how police use mediation in their respective communities, namely the leaders of the community dispute resolution programs in New York State. Questionnaires were mailed to program directors in each of the 62 NYS counties, selected informal interviews were conducted, and official data collected, in order to elicit information regarding how police use mediation themselves or make referrals to the community dispute resolution centers funded by the Unified Court System in New York State. Despite the challenges reported by approximately half of the community dispute resolution programs in providing mediation training to police departments, in fact dispute resolution programs have made some inroads in connecting with their local police departments. This paper will share results from the study as well as promises and challenges of police use of mediation.
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