DPSCS to be Honored For Conflict Resolution Partnership

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Towson, MD (June 10, 2010)---Community Mediation Maryland (CMM) will present the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) with the Commitment to Collaborative Conflict Resolution Award on Saturday, June 12. DPSCS will receive the honor during the organization’s annual gala from 6-9 p.m. at St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis.

CMM has partnered with DPSCS to create Prisoner Re-entry Mediation, an innovative approach to helping inmates heal broken family relationships before release, in an effort to reduce the likelihood of them committing new crimes upon their return to society. CCM has worked in a number of Maryland prisons all over the state.

“DPSCS is committed to responding to the complex challenges of prisoner re-entry. Significant research has pointed to the importance of positive relationships for successful re-entry and reduced recidivism,” says DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard. In addition to the importance of these relationships in general, family members often reluctantly open their homes to returning inmates, with no sense of how to structure the situation to address the needs of their family as well as the needs of the returning inmate. Mediation provides an opportunity to build positive relationships, heal past disputes, and focus on planning for the future.

Community mediation centers provide mediation services inside the prison facilities to inmates and their family members or others who are important in their lives, so that they can develop concrete plans before release. Follow-up mediations are conducted after release to allow for additional conflict resolution or adjustment to the plan.

“DPSCS recognizes the importance of relationships as a piece of the puzzle for successful re-entry,” said Lorig Charkoudian, Executive Director of Community Mediation Maryland. “The partnership has been a natural since our centers have the skills and capacity to support rebuilding these relationships and developing collaborative agreements.”

See more information about DPSCS’ partnership with CMM on their website: http://www.marylandmediation.org/partnerships