MCRC About Town
MCRC's Director Kathy Rockefeller is presented the 2013 "Celebrating Successes" Award!
On April 30, Kathy Rockefeller, Director of HCC’s Mediation & Conflict Resolution Center, was honored with a “Celebrating Successes” Award, in the category of High School. In its 14th Year, the Celebrating Successes awards recognize members of the community that are “committed to the success of our children and youth.” Individuals and groups are nominated by programs within Howard County, and winners are chosen by a panel of community judges. The awards were announced at a reception hosted by the Department of Citizen Services’ Office of Children’s Services at the Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville. Kathy received the award thanks to a joint nomination from three of MCRC’s school partners, The Homewood Center, Oakland Mills High School, and Hammond High School. Thanks to their progressive and insightful leadership and staff, these schools have been working, with MCRC and its volunteers, to become more restorative.
MCRC is a state leader in “Restorative Practices,” a broad umbrella of techniques and processes being used in many fields, most notably, conflict resolution, education, juvenile justice and social work. They offer a fresh perspective on addressing harms, and they work! Some restorative processes, such as Circles, are used regularly to build community. This community helps to eliminate the social anonymity in which people are most likely to act badly. Using that community force, other restorative tools are then used to address specific harms committed by a member of that community. Restorative processes hold the person who offended the community directly accountable to that community for what he or she did. People are required to put things right before rejoining the community. Restorative practices do not eliminate traditional “consequences,” but greatly reduce the number of times they are needed. Restorative practices clear a do-able path back into community that helps reduce the stigmatization and further isolation of the offender, the very conditions that promote re-offending.
MCRC is all about community! All of our services, direct and indirect, support and heal the community around us:
• Community Mediation and Group Facilitation restore community by supporting productive and peaceful dialogue
• Restorative Dialogue and Restorative Reflections provide juveniles (referred by HCPD’s Youth Services following a first arrest) a way to understand what they did wrong and why it mattered, so that they can be diverted from the juvenile justice system
• Prison Re-entry Mediation offers offenders nearing release from the Howard County Detention Center a way to plan the support they need for successful re-entry into community
• Restorative Practices in Schools are building community at The Homewood Center (now fully restorative, enjoying wonderful statistical results), Oakland Mills High School (detention now “Community School”), and Hammond High School (detention now “Strategy School.”)
MCRC serves all of Howard County, and its services are free of charge. If you are experiencing a conflict, call 443-518-1888. Calls and cases are completely confidential, and participation is always voluntary.
MCRC Receives 2013 Access to Justice Award
MCRC, along with other Maryland community mediation centers, received the
2013 Access to Justice Award for its re-entry work and district court partnership.
The Hon. Robert M. Bell -- Chief Judge, Maryland Court of Appeals,
Lorig Charkoudian -- Executive Director of Community Mediation Maryland,
The Hon. Irma S. Raker -- Chair, Maryland Access to Justice Commission
Conflict Resolution Day 2012
Howard Community College celebrated Conflict Resolution Day with a variety of learning and participatory activities, including "Peace Chains;" Restorative Justice tree contributed by Tim Johnson's RJ class at HCC; informational brochures on HCC's AA degree in Conflict Resolution, and the Mediation Services offered through MCRC. Volunteer mediators and MCRC staff contributed snacks and engaged in lively conversation with students and staff.