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Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), Maryland Home Improvement Commission: CMM works in partnership with the Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation, Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). MHIC refers disputes between home-owners and contractors to mediation in several community mediation centers.
Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services: Prison Re-Entry Mediation: CMM is working with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) to use mediation as a tool to support the transition of inmates from prison and into their communities. Mediation sessions between the inmate and family members take place while they are incarcerated and follow-up mediations are be available once inmates are released. The network of mediation centers throughout the state support our ability to conduct the follow-up mediation regardless of the county to which the inmate is released. The “in-prison” mediation program has begun in six facilities. In each facility, inmates approaching release learn about mediation and conflict resolution as a group. They then have an opportunity to request mediation with a family member or friend on the outside.
District Court of Maryland: CMM works with the District Court of Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Office to ensure that individuals seeking to file charges in court are made aware of the option of mediation. Community mediation centers provide mediation to pre-trial and on the day of trial for individuals in Small Claims and Peace Order cases.
Family Court Division: CMM works with the Administrative Office of the Courts Family Court Division to support the provision of Parenting Plan mediation to resolve issues of custody and visitation for low income families involved in the court system. In selected counties these families will be referred to communities mediation centers for free mediation services. CMM has developed protocol, training, and evaluation in conjunction with the Family Court Division.
Maryland Department on Aging: CMM is working with the Maryland Department on Aging to increase the use of mediation among senior citizens in Maryland. The partnership seeks to develop mediation, facilitation, and other alternative dispute resolution approaches to help Maryland’s seniors and families make decisions and resolve conflicts regarding their care, property, health, housing, family relations, and other needs. CMM is supporting community mediation centers to provide these services through training, technical assistance and referral partnership development.
Maryland State Department of Education – IEP Meeting Facilitation Project: According to Federal Law, any child eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) must have an Individual Education Program (IEP) that meets his/her needs. The IEP is developed and reviewed at least annually by a team that includes parents, teachers, special education administrators, and others. While the goal of these meetings is for the team to work collaboratively and reach consensus, conflicts between the parents and the school or among team members can result in an inability to reach consensus. Dissatisfaction with the communication and decisions made at the meeting can create a negative relationship between the parent and the school system personnel. Through the IEP Meeting Facilitation Project developed by CMM and the Maryland State Department of Education, community mediation centers in 13 counties now offer free facilitation for Individual Education Program (IEP) Team meetings. The goal of a facilitated IEP meeting is to help the IEP team communicate effectively and develop an educational program to meet the child’s need. CMM regularly evaluates the effectiveness of facilitated meetings. Based on the evaluative data, 86% of the respondents reported that they were satisfied with the facilitation process.
Office of the Public Defender’s: The Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD) worked with CMM and Community Mediation Program (Baltimore City) to train their entire state-wide staff in conflict resolution skills. In addition, to support an internal workplace mediation program, CMM and CMP provided the 50-hour mediation training to OPD staff members. In exchange for an apprenticeship, these staff members are volunteering with their local community mediation centers and building partnerships between community mediation and the local OPD offices.