Dispute Settlement Center, Inc.

Rating: 4.64 stars   11 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Human Services, Crime & Law

Location: 134 Old Ridgefield Road Wilton CT 06897 USA

Mission: The Dispute Settlement Center Inc.(DSC) is a non-profit agency offering skilled conflict resolution services for courts, families, schools, and communities in western Connecticut.  We aim to spread the use of mediation thereby reducing crime, violence, homelessness, and the burden on the courts.
Programs: Mediation in Adult Criminal Courts with individuals 16 years and older
2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

The DSC has done a lot of great work with their educational efforts. As a juvenile justice reform advocacy organization, we look at effective programs in the state that divert youth away from the justice system. We have found DSC’s mediation practices to be really effective in resolving issues that would have otherwise resulted in a suspension or expulsion. The proof is in the numbers; for instance, in Danbury suspensions declined by almost 60% from 416 to 169. The Dispute Settlement Center is a well-respected organization in the communities it serves from Hartford to Bridgeport and from Stamford to Danbury. We have seen programs that do a good job of trying to prevent youth from offending, but mediation is, by far, one of the best tools for reducing re-offenses.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

They engage in productive collaborations with community partners in order to enhance overall positive outcomes of youth.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

The Dispute Settlement Center (DSC)has been a partner with RYASAP for the last 7 years both through our Juvenile Review Board (JRB) as well as our Juvenile Justice Task Force (JJTF). With the JRB, DSC has provided mediation services to young first time offenders and their families who are being diverted from the juvenile justice system. The services are particularly effective where there is conflict between family members and with the community in which the young person ahs committed their offense. The model balanced and restorative justice is consistent across both the JRB and DSC. With the JJTF, DSC has been a ongoing member for the last 7 years and has contributed vital services to building a continuum of care for young people in the juvenile justice system in teh greater Bridgeport, CT area. The JJTF consists of over 40 area providers representing law enforcement, probation, detention, education, parent advocacy and children's advocacy and legal services. The DSC has been a very involved partner in the work of making major improvements in increasing services to young people and diverting a large number of young people from the JJ system.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Working with our Juvenile Review Board participants and with the system changes in the Greater Bridgeport and Connecticut juvenile justice systems.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Friendliness and helpfulness of staff; quality of their mediation services; and their ability to unselfishly network with other providers of service to young people and families involved with the juvenile justice system.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Administrative, direct service, board and volunteers.

Ways to make it better...

We would have had more resources to use their services more often with more children and families.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Ongoing support from teh criminal justice system for their services and the threat that all nonprofits face in CT and that is reduced state funding due to a very large operating deficit.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

The Dispute Settlement Center worked extensively with our high school staff and students to develop a mediation and a peer mediation program. The best part of the work their trained professionals did, was help empower us to sustain these programs on our own and to integrate these methods into the daily practices of school life. Since the development of our mediation programs, we have seen a marked decrease in behavioral incidents and suspensions. We are also pleased that the Dispute Settlement Center helped us to develop more leadership opportunities for high school students by training them to become peer mediators.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

by seeing my staff empowered to recognize conflicts, intervene quickly and efficiently and therefore assist students in focusing on their academic work. We have had a decrease in behavior incidents and improved feeling of safety in the school.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-9-01

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