Addressing conflict through community conferencing

A community conference is a voluntary one-time circle process that includes everyone involved in and affected by an incident, crime, or conflict, and their respective support networks.

A trained, all-partial facilitator brings everyone together to provide a space and structure for people in conflict to have a dialogue with each other. Each person has a voice, and everyone collectively decides how to make things right and prevent a conflict from happening again.

Participants have a chance to heal and learn from the incident, and everyone decides how to be accountable to one another. Here’s how community conferencing works in these types of conflicts:

Neighborhood and Community

Allows neighbors to collectively resolve immediate and ongoing conflicts.

Court Diversion

Allows everyone affected by the incident to be part of resolving the crime or conflict.

Juvenile Court Diversion

Our current, often over-burdened criminal justice system does not always provide the opportunity for young people to learn how their actions affect others. Community Conferencing provides a space for youth involved in an incident to be accountable for their actions, gives everyone involved a voice, and includes everyone in deciding how to resolve the incident.

Schools & Youth Programs

Provides students, families, teachers, and administrators with safe, inclusive, and effective ways to build community and to prevent and respond to conflict and violence.

Workplace

Engages employees in ways that increase productivity, improve communication, and constructively address conflict.

Auto Theft

Provides an effective,  community-based response to juvenile auto theft cases (as approved by the MD State’s Attorney’s Office for diversion from court).

Post-Conviction Conferencing

Provides families of those involved in or affected by a crime an opportunity for understanding, healing, and finding a way to move forward.

Re-Entry from Prison

Helps people returning from prison confront the social and emotional impact of incarceration and (re)develop vital support networks as they re-enter families and communities.

Returning home from Military Service

Assists soldiers and their families (re)establish vital supports as they deal with the social and emotional impact of serving in the military.