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  • Cohort 2023

    Mediation and Restorative Services

    Proactive and Preventative Conflict Resolution Services

    Anoka County, MN

    In Anoka County, Minnesota, people of color make up a small share of the population but are overrepresented in the criminal legal system. Mediation and restorative practices are alternatives to traditional legal system responses that can help to resolve conflict and repair harm without law enforcement intervention, making them useful for addressing such racial disparities. Mediation typically involves trained mediators facilitating conversations, and restorative practices can include circles or guided dialogues in which people address and repair harm by engaging in problem solving, holding each other accountable, and working through what happened. This approach can reduce unnecessary and frequent contact with the legal system.

    With Catalyst Grant funding, Mediation and Restorative Services (MARS), a community-based conflict resolution organization that has provided services for 36 years, will partner with a facilitator to conduct restorative circles with adults in Anoka County. The project will expand restorative-practices programming to help adult community members resolve conflicts using nonpunitive approaches and limit involvement with the criminal legal system. In addition to the restorative circles, Mediation and Restorative Services will focus on trainings in diversity and equity education with the intention of integrating those trainings into the mediation and restorative processes. It will also collect individual participants’ data to supplement what is learned through the qualitative aspects of the project. Using Power BI, it plans to disseminate lessons and information to the community, including state and local officials, with the hopes of promoting policies that use conflict resolution services more as alternatives to traditional criminal legal system methods.


    2023 Grantees

    Beyond the Bars
    Miami Gardens, FL

    Black Voters Matter
    Fulton County, GA

    Center for Policing Equity
    St. Louis, MO

    Chicago Appleseed
    Cook County, IL

    Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking
    Los Angeles, CA

    DC Fiscal Policy Institute
    Washington, DC

    Forward Through Ferguson
    St. Louis City and County, MO

    Freedom Community Center
    St. Louis, MO

    Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association
    Cuyahoga County, OH

    Homeward Bound
    Dallas County, TX

    Sacramento, CA

    Innovate Memphis
    Memphis, TN

    Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice
    Washtenaw County, MI

    Just Communities Arizona
    Pima County, AZ

    Justice Management Institute
    New Orleans, LA

    Mediation and Restorative Services
    Anoka County, MN

    People of Progression
    Outagamie County, WI

    Phoenix Youth and Family Services
    Ashley County, Bradley County, Chicot County, Desha County, and Drew County, AR

    Project Curate
    Harris County, TX

    Pillars of the Community
    San Diego, CA

    Safer Foundation
    Cook County, IL

    San Francisco Pretrial Diversion Project
    San Francisco, CA

    Starting Over, Inc.
    Riverside County, CA

    Denver, CO

    United Way of South Central Michigan
    Jackson County, MI