Mediation in the State Civil and/or Criminal Court System
Mary Catherine Doerneman
Course Spanning Tasks Part B
Professor Sunny Rowland
May 8, 2016
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Criminal caseloads build on the judge’s dockets with seemingly no end in sight have also seen the mediation process become effective as with a well-planned process structure, it takes short time to settle a disputes. There are many different reasons why a case will go to the criminal civil division, however, in some situations a simple mediation process would result in the best outcome for both parties. Not only can mediation lower the cases in both civil and criminal divisions resulting in lower caseloads at the courthouse but it also allows the people involved to not face criminal prosecution (Felstiner 1978).
Background on criminal cases
Mediation process can been traced back to ancient Greece and roman laws whereby they practice was more of victim offender mediation and still practiced now. This can relate to today’s criminal cases which involves the offender meeting with the victim in a formal setting in presence of a trained mediator. The offender-victim mediation goal is to hold the offender accountable while ensuring that the victims gets a compensation as a result of the offence. Its direct interaction forum between the parties involved. Although there no specification as to when mediation should take place, most of them happens after the intervention of the court and after guilt charges finding. Unlike with civil cases, when it comes to the criminal cases, mediation occurs after the adjudication (Bussmann, 1992). The process follows a sequence that starts with a dialogue between the parties which results to making them feel comfortable and safe to talk and listen and finally assisting them in negotiating. Increase in violent crime participation to the mediation program has seen victim offender mediation on the rise.
While there is no scale for justifications for punishment in the victim offender mediation, restorative justice as it that today’s crime is considered as not only an offence to the victim, but also to the state as well. The state has scale that justifies the punishment an offender receives but fails to address the most important factors which is the emotional part to both the victim and the offender. While in victim offender mediation the parties agrees based on sympathy, empathy and forgiveness, the restorative justice process fails to achieve this as the parties are not directly involved(Reich, 2007). Being practiced for over thirty years, victim offender mediation still remains the best way of solving criminal cases.
Background on civil cases.
Mediation in civil cases is generally involves parties disagreeing on disputes that are quantifiable in terms of money, such as a personal injury. Unlike In criminal mediation, civil cases can be mediated by a judge, known as settlement conference. In case of private mediator, the parties choose a neutral third party with no prior relationship with either. While a lawyer is the preferable private mediator, the parties may opt for a person not necessary a judge or...