Easing the Burden: Mediating Misdemeanor Criminal Complaints


Overburdened courts are causing critical breakdowns in the criminal justice system. However, some jurisdictions are developing creative programs to ease the burden on courts. This paper focuses on mediation programs by which courts divert criminal cases away from traditional prosecution and allow a victim-offender mediation to occur as an alternative to trials for alleged criminal acts. The new model is beginning to work: annually more than nine thousand cases are referred out of district courts by district attorneys and judges to dispute settlement centers; over seven thousand or more are resolved prior to possible court involvement, and mediation is helping as an alternative to courtroom trials.


Criminal Law | Criminal Procedure | Dispute Resolution and Arbitration | Law and Society | Litigation

Date of this Version

October 2005