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Community Mediation and Social Change

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Dr Hank

Dr Hank

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My work has focused on developing a multifaceted Center that offers programs within the courts, the child welfare, juvenile and criminal justice systems as well as community coalition building. 

The negative experience of my juvenile clients in the family court resulted in my leaving to establish a mentoring program. This became the first of many diversion programs using empowerment approaches such as conflict resolution, mediation and collaborative problem solving.  Court diversion programs from the family court included persons in need of supervision, delinquents and a citywide program for custody cases. Diversion from the criminal court and small claims court along with responses to NYC’s 311 calls further channeled conflicts into mediation.

Most important have been applications closer to the community. Dispute resolution programs directly serving the public now exist in child welfare, group homes, schools, juvenile facilities, probation and the homelessness systems. The Center offers the public services outside government involvement. The use of restorative justice, facilitated dialogues and coalition building offers independent community opportunities to consider and plan around important issues.    

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