MCRC is a not-for-profit community partner arm of HCC. We provide an array of services to the community, most of which are free, and we accept donations to support our mission. MCRC's services can be broadly divided into three programs:
- Community Mediation (CM) is a process that helps people in conflict reach a resolution with the assistance of a neutral, trained professionals.
- Group Facilitation: Some conflicts involve more than two people, and are not suitable for mediation. MCRC can still help using a different conflict resolution process: group facilitation. Successful group collaboration sounds great, but can sometimes feel impossible! Whether your group is a work team, extended family, faith committee, neighborhood association, etc. , interpersonal conflict, differences in perspective, and organizational constraints can paralyze even the best of groups. With a little guidance, however, MCRC can help groups develop a plan to get back on track. MCRC offers neutral, trained group facilitators to help groups find their collective “voice,” use meeting time productively, and smooth their progress toward the common mission.
- Re-Entry Mediation: Re-entry Mediation is mediation provided to participants in a correctional institution who are preparing to re-enter the community on an upcoming release date. The mediation is provided inside the institution for the requesting inmate and his or her outside participants and can increase the chance of success upon release by offering facilitated opportunities to discuss critical issues.
- Victim-Offender Dialogue: Victim Offender Dialogue (VOD) is a voluntary conversation between a victim and the offender who committed the crime against him or her.* VOD provides an opportunity for victims to express feelings directly to their offenders. They are able to let the offender know how the crime has affected their life, and to ask long-unanswered questions. Holding offenders directly accountable through the VOD process is empowering for many victims. VOD offers offenders a rare opportunity to acknowledge responsibility, remorse, and other feelings in a face-to-face meeting with their victim. It provides an opportunity for making things as right as possible, for healing, and for finding a way to positively affect the future.
* VOD is available by victim request only. Offender eligibility requires final determination of guilt and DOC approval, and participation has no effect on legal or institutional status.
- Restorative Dialogue (RD) is form of Restorative Justice that gives victims of certain minor assaults or property damage a chance to talk with the harm-doer who committed the crime in a safe environment. MCRC's RD service opens the door to many possible outcomes, ranging from an apology and increased understanding of the situation and what led to it, to actual steps to repair the harm done.
- Restorative Reflection (RR) sessions are similar to RDs (above), but they involved situations in which MCRC is asked to provide a restorative procedure for a single participant. In RRs, juveniles are guided through a reflection about what happened, what they were thinking about when it happened, and what they have been thinking since. Participants are supported as they thinking about who was harmed by their actions, and what they might do to make things better. Trained Facilitators help the youths make a plan, often with new tools, to handle future conflicts in a healthier way.
Both RDs and RRs typically include the juveniles' parent(s)/guardian(s). In referred cases where the permissible participants are limited by juvenile justice confidentiality laws, MCRC is always willing to open an additional case, upon request, to include others as appropriate. There are no fees for this service.
Conflict Resolution Education
MCRC's mission pledges to: "promote peaceful resolution of conflicts by providing quality mediation and conflict resolution services, education and training at HCC and within the larger Howard County community." Many MCRC programs contribute to this portion of our mission:
- AA Degree in Conflict Resolution: See AA Degree Page.
- Annual 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training: See Training and Events Page. MCRC offers one annual 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training. This training is generally offered over three consecutive weekends in April and May (Thursday and Friday evenings + Saturdays, all day). People who complete the course are invited to join the MCRC Volunteer Roster (otherwise closed at this time). Our annual 40-Hour Basic Mediation Training is coordinated by and with HCC's Continuing Education Division and registration generally opens sometime in March. For more information, contact Roxanne Farrar, firstname.lastname@example.org. 100% attendance is absolutely mandatory.
- Conflict Resolution Day Celebration is an open gathering to celebrate international Conflict Resolution Day, which typically falls on the third Thursday in October. For more information on times and location, contact Maria Harrison, email@example.com.