Our Services

Our Services

 

CJAM offers a variety of conflict resolution, training and education services.   Please use the drop-down buttons below to learn more.  If you would like to use our services, please contact us and we can help you get started.

Training and Education

Training & Education

Basic Mediation and Restorative Justice Training (40-Hours)

Fall 2017 Dates: September 9, 10, 16, 17 & 23 from  8:30 AM – 5 PM

Our 5-day basic training lays the groundwork for anyone interested in becoming a mediator, learning about conflict resolution and restorative justice, or interested in becoming a volunteer mediator with us. The training is led by senior mediators and restorative justice practitioners. The maximum participants is 20 people with seating filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The training is held at the IU Maurer School of Law.

Tuition: $300

Early Bird Tuition: $260 if received by June 30, 2017

A limited number of scholarships are available; please email cjam@cjamcenter.org to learn more.

To register, click here.    To pay for training online click here or you may mail a check to 205 S. Walnut St., Suite 16, Bloomington, IN 47404.

About the Training:
This 40-hour training is for anyone interested in learning about conflict resolution, mediation, and restorative justice.  You will learn about the sources of conflict, and the processes leading to constructive conflict resolution. Participants enhance their interpersonal skills in communication and listening, problem solving, and negotiation. You will also gain an understanding of restorative justice philosophy and methods, including victim-offender mediation.  The training provides the background and skills necessary to work as a community mediator and restorative justice practitioner and qualifies participants to volunteer in CJAM’s programs.

Those who volunteer with CJAM after the training work as “apprentices,” alongside mediators and restorative justice practitioners who have had significant experience as lead facilitators in our programs. Though there are not any nationally-recognized “best practice” standards in the U.S. for Basic Mediation Training, CJAM is a member of the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM), and our policies and procedures are aligned with NAFCM’s quality assurance standards. In designing this training and maintaining a roster of well-qualified mediators, CJAM has used guidance from many highly regarded sources such as The State of New York’s Mediation Training Curriculum Guidelines. CJAM also educates its staff about mediator ethics in accordance with Rule 7 of Indiana’s Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

School Mediation

School Mediation

Our neutral and highly skilled mediators can assist schools in resolving conflicts. We currently have a Memorandum Of Understanding with the Monroe County Community School Corporation that enables CJAM mediators to work with students, families, and school personnel to resolve school-related issues. These services are provided at no charge to the schools or to the individual participants.

Q & A

Q: What is mediation?
A: Mediation is a process through which people who are experiencing issues are able to communicate with each other with the help of impartial mediators. Its aim is to help students, their families, and schools prevent or resolve problems in ways that meet the needs of all. Mediation allows participating parties to improve communication, take responsibility for the actions done, repair harm, and/or develop agreements focused on resolving current and possible future issues.

Q: For which kinds of situations might mediation be appropriate?
A: The following are examples situations that may be effectively handled through mediation:
• Ongoing trouble between two students or groups of students.
• Disciplinary situations, including those involving potential suspension and expulsion.
• Bullying or juvenile aggression situations, including harassment or intimidation.
• Communication difficulties or lack of communication between family and school.
• Tardiness and truancy issues.
• Family issues at home that affect a child’s behavior at school.
• After a suspension or expulsion, mediation can be used to ease the student’s transition back into school, both by helping that student and by helping others who may have concerns related to that student’s return.

Q: Why should we participate?
A: You have the opportunity to talk about all the concerns surrounding the issue, explore possible solutions, and come up with a plan of action. The mediators will work with you to find solutions that are satisfactory to all participants.
Mediators work to ensure that all participants in mediation have a safe environment in which they can freely communicate their perspectives and their interests. The discussions in mediation are kept confidential, and good faith participation by all individuals is central to mediation processes. All solutions written into an agreement must be mutually agreed upon by all present parties. Within mediation, reaching agreement is always voluntary.

Q: What happens if a student does not participate?
A: Mediation is a choice and it is voluntary. A parent/guardian must give consent for a student to participate. If a student is referred to mediation as an alternative to other disciplinary action, the school may inform the student and their parent/guardian of other options available to them if they decide not to participate in mediation.

Q: How does the process work?
A: After receiving a referral, mediators first have separate meetings with each person involved in order to gather information, make sure participation is voluntary and informed, and to prepare for future meetings and mediation sessions. In mediation sessions, participants are brought together, and the mediators serve as impartial facilitators of the process. Mediators help to promote effective communication and decision-making between everyone present.
Many school mediations result in a written agreement that addresses the problem that brought people to mediation and includes future actions that will prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Q: Will the school know everything that is discussed?
A: The participants determine what information will be shared with the school. Most often, participants want members of the school administration or other school staff to know the agreement made so that the school can support the parties in appropriate ways.

Q: What happens if the school accepts the plan but then the student does not follow through?
A: This issue is typically discussed with the participants in the mediation session, and plans for how to address such noncompliance or lack of follow-through are often included in the written agreement. Mediation agreements are often written with the assumption that the participating parties will take responsibility for the agreement that they came up with during the mediation session. Agreements that are made “in good faith” are generally followed.

Q: Where and when would the mediation take place?
A: Most often, CJAM mediators will meet with parties on-site at the school, either during the school day or after school. The meeting times are flexible and arranged to meet the participants’ schedules.
If a different site is preferred, parties may meet at CJAM’s offices at 205 S. Walnut St. in downtown Bloomington. CJAM is located less than a block from the Bloomington Transit downtown bus terminal and offers free parking for visitors.

School administrators, students, or parents may send referrals to cjam@cjamcenter.org

For more information, please call CJAM at (812) 336-8677

The Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC) and Community Justice and Mediation Center (CJAM) share the view that mediation may often be useful for prevention or amelioration of student problems, including ones that might be the subject of disciplinary actions. Referrals for mediation may be appropriate in situations of conflict between students, preparing for re-entry after a suspension or expulsion that involved a conflict between students, or to resolve conflict between parents and school personnel. The aim of mediation will be to develop an agreement between the participating parties that will meet the needs of the students, their families, and the school. Mediation gives the participants an opportunity to take responsibility for the actions done, repair harm, improve communication, and resolve issues themselves. 

Restorative Justice Services

Restorative Justices

Restorative justice is a philosophy and practice based on the idea of taking responsibility for actions that have hurt or harmed someone else and/or yourself. Rather than focus on punishment and isolation from the community, restorative justice focuses on meaningful accountability, which includes actively engaging in understanding what harms have been done and how to repair those harms.

The vision of the restorative justice work we are doing at CJAM is to create safer communities, greater victim satisfaction, and authentic and meaningful accountability. We do this in the juvenile setting, in conjunction with Juvenile Probation and with adults through, Adult Probation, the Prosecutor’s office, and the Public Defernder’s office. Our Victim and Offender Restoration Program (VORP) is funded primarily through a County contract. Our Shoplifting and Theft Education Program (STEP) is funded by client fees.

Types of Restorative Justice Services Include:

Theft, burglary, breaking & entering
Vandalism, destruction of property
Harassment, intimidation
Leaving the scene of an accident (with damage or injury)
Minor assault (e.g. fighting in school)
Conversion, shoplifting (STEP)
Criminal recklessness
OWI/DWI with damage or bodily injury
Writing bad checks, forgery
Theft from employer/employee

Community Mediation

What is Mediation?

Mediation helps people work through a disagreement.  Mediation helps disputing parties communicate and understand their concerns and needs in a situation, identify and consider possible solution options, reach a mutually agreeable solution and put the agreement into a written form. A mediator has no decision-making authority. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator, a mediator does not decide what is right or wrong or make suggestions about ways to resolve a problem. Mediation is based on the voluntary cooperation and good faith participation of all parties. Although participation in some mediation programs may be mandatory, reaching agreement is always voluntary.

Why Choose Community Mediation?

Mediation makes sense – In mediation, you are in control.  You make your own decisions about what is best.  The solution is determined by the people who will live with the consequences.  Mediators facilitate constructive conversations to assist parties reach agreements which best meet their needs.

Mediation is voluntary – Participants only mediate if they choose to and have the option to stop at any time.

Mediation is confidential – Sessions are held in private, and mediators will not disclose what is said in a mediation session.  Mediators do not communicate confidential information to the other party. Mediators make no reports to courts or to anyone else.

Mediation is quick – We can schedule mediations within one to two weeks, and most require only one or two sessions.

Mediation is convenient – We can schedule mediation on weekdays in the morning, afternoon, evening and on some occasions, Saturdays.

Mediation is cost-effective – We offer low-cost services to insure they are accessible to you. When compared to attorney fees and the cost of litigation, mediation is often more cost-effective. It is CJAM’s mission to provide accessible services to the community.

Mediators encourage but do not require parties to obtain legal advice. Costs of lawyers’ advice are minimized since parties usually attend mediation without their lawyers, and reaching agreement avoids the costs of litigation.

Mediation can improve relationships! – Mediation fosters respect for differences in beliefs and backgrounds.  The process helps people to preserve and maintain ongoing relationships. Having a negative relationship with a neighbor, business associate, consumer, landlord or tenant, etc. can cause stress, reduce personal levels of happiness and satisfaction.

Mediation works! – Mediation has helped many in resolving seemingly intractable disputes.  Mediation has proven successful in helping parties reach agreements that meet their needs and with which they will comply, in building more constructive relationships, in helping parties learn from their conflict experience. With mediators’ help, parties can create solutions that meet their needs more effectively than those which judges can impose on them.

Types of disputes suitable for mediation:

Neighbor, Family, Friend

Workplace, Business

Landlord/Tenant

Community or Service Organization

Civil and Small Claims

Commercial & Contractor

Who are the Mediators?

CJAM mediators are trained and experienced in mediation skills. Our mediators are drawn from the community and often bring additional professional skills to the mediation. CJAM mediators are not lawyers or judges and do not give legal advice.

To start the process, refer a case now by filling out this Mediation Referral form and submitting it to mediate@cjamcenter.org.  If you have any questions on how we can help you work out conflicts with a trained mediator, please call 812-336-8677 or email mediate@cjamcenter.org today!

 

Small Claims Mediation

What is CJAM’s involvement with the Small Claims Court?

A CJAM mediator attends Small Claims Court on Tuesday mornings to take referrals from the court.  When claims are disputed, the court does not decide the case at the initial hearing, but sets it for trial at a later date, usually 6 to 8 weeks later.  This gives a period of time in which the parties, if they wish, can try to reach agreement with the help of CJAM mediators.

How did CJAM come to be involved in that way?

CJAM has always received referrals from the small claims and other courts in civil disputes, but the Small Claims Court judges and CJAM decided 5 years ago that the process would be facilitated if CJAM attended court.  This has proven to be true.  Last year we received 75 referrals from the Small Claims Courts.

Why do parties choose to mediate?

Mediating with CJAM enables the parties to resolve their disputes without waiting for the later court hearing, and parties are frequently eager to get their disputes behind them.  Further, mediation can be arranged for times convenient for the parties, enabling them to avoid missing work.  Most important, the parties are in control.  They can reach agreements they believe are fair and meet their needs, and they can resolve the unpredictability of how the judge might decide the case.

Are agreements reached in mediation legally binding?

CJAM mediators help the parties write agreements that can be submitted to the court as a basis for entering a binding judgment for the case.

How much time does the mediation process take?

This varies a great deal depending on the particular case.  In a “typical” case, there will usually be an hour each for separate initial interviews of the parties and a face-to-face mediation session of about an hour and a half.

Is CJAM paid for this service?  How does CJAM get compensated for its time and resources for this?

CJAM asks the parties to pay a suggested donation of $50 for matters that do not exceed $6,000 of value in dispute and $100 for matters above $6,000.  CJAM does not receive substantial income from community mediation fees and relies on donations to support this work.

Does CJAM help with any type of dispute that may be in small claims court?

Yes, CJAM can work with most kinds of cases that come to small claims courts.  Landlord-tenant, contractor, sales, roommate, neighbor, and family disputes are common.

What kind of backgrounds do CJAM volunteer mediators have?  How are they qualified for small claims mediation?

CJAM mediators have a wide variety of backgrounds and ages.  Only a few are lawyers.  CJAM would like its mediator roster to reflect our diverse community.  CJAM mediators participate in basic mediation training (usually from CJAM) and work alongside experienced mediators in their initial cases.

Do judges require parties to go through CJAM mediation as part of their court case?

No, mediation is voluntary.  However, the judges do sometimes tell the parties they think mediation will benefit them and urge them to work with CJAM.

Are CJAM’s services available to parties who are not involved with small claims and other courts?

Absolutely!  CJAM’s community mediation program receives referrals from lawyers and other professionals and from social service and government agencies.  Some mediation clients come to CJAM on their own, having heard about us from friends, publicity in the papers, or research on the Web.

To start the process, refer a case now by filling out this Mediation Referral form and submitting it to mediate@cjamcenter.org.  If you have any questions on how we can help you work out conflicts with a trained mediator, please call 812-336-8677 or email mediate@cjamcenter.org today!