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IMCR offers free mediation services to Co-op City residents

Posted: Feb 25 2017 at 11:44am | Views: 3025
IMCR offers free mediation services to Co-op City residents

Do you have a neighbor/s who really bug you?

Do you call the police or security on your neighbor/s often?

Your best bet would be to keep the police out of your business.
Contact Mediation Services, at (718) 585-1190, to help settle the dispute between you and your neighbor/s for free.

The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IMCR) offers its services free of charge to the residents of Co-op City every week day and also on Saturdays with day time and evening availability.

IMCR established the first Community Dispute Resolution Center in New York City in 1975 to examine whether certain cases of a criminal nature could be more effectively handled and resolved by diverting them from the normal court litigation process to local panels of community volunteer mediators who include attorneys and professionals with experience in alternative dispute settings.

"Even the best of neighbors may at times have disputes," said Michael Munns, Senior Attorney, Riverbay Legal Department. "When you can't resolve those problems yourself, IMCR offers free mediation service. In most cases, the IMCR (The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution) mediator is able to guide the parties to a satisfactory solution, even though it should be pointed out that the mediator has no authority to order any person to do anything that they do not want to do. Co-op City Cooperators are, however, fortunate that IMCR Mediation Service is available free on-site every week for those who would like to utilize the service. It's one of the best kept secrets of Co-op City."

The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IMCR) facilitates resolution of minor criminal allegations and civil disputes which are typically referred by the police, the DA's office, and other local agencies. Here at Riverbay Coop City, CSO personnel also refer cooperators to the center for resolution of neighbor-to-neighbor disputes, family peers and consumer disputes.

IMCR also handles conflicts in several other areas, for instance, aggravated assault, aggravated harassment, animal complaint, assault, breach of contract, burglary, visitation, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, harassment, housing dispute, menacing, petty larceny, theft of services, and many others.

In addition, the center offers sessions on truancy, falling behind in school, communicating with a substitute, distribution of household chores, running away, early sexual activity, inappropriate friends and curfew negotiations, as well as discussing parental fears.

Titus Rich, Jr., Director of Mediation at IMCR, said: "Quite often when people have conflicts, they may not be comfortable talking to each other, but when they come to mediation, they will oftentimes open up and say things that if they did normally, they would probably end up in a fight about. In mediation when they are clear about their thoughts, they are able to express those thoughts and that gives the other party the opportunity to know what and how the other is thinking."

Rich explained there are no judges or lawyers at the mediation sessions, only the IMCR assigned mediator and the parties involved sitting down in a safe, neutral place which makes it a bit easier for them to open up and express their thoughts and feelings. This is especially important for children, he said, who, in the neutral setting of mediation, may feel comfortable enough to openly express to their parents, grandparents or any other person, what they do not feel they can say when they are home.

Rich added that The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IMCR) is involved with a lot of youth related disputes to help curb youth violence all across the Bronx.

In addition to parties being referred to IMCR's services, IMCR also reaches out to parties who may have been referred to the agency as possibly needing their conflict resolution services.

According to Rich, IMCR has approximately 1,010 mediators on call on a consistent basis. They act as impartial "referees" during the mediation sessions, and all information and conversations are confidential.

Resolution can result in no agreement, or verbal or written agreement, which both parties sign and agree to although the mediators cannot demand that an agreement is signed since this is a voluntary process.

Whatever the outcome, IMCR reports the status of the session to Riverbay's Co-op City Legal Department although nothing discussed inside of the session is divulged.

IMCR's mission is to promote peaceful human relations by offering mediation and conflict resolution services and training in non-violent principles and skills which empower individuals to respond constructively to conflict.

The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IMCR) coordinator assigned to Co-op City is Pedro Garcia. He can be reached at (718) 585-1190 to arrange an appointment with a mediator.

"We believe this is a very good tool that anybody can use to deal with everyday issues when conflict arises," said Rich. "It is a way for people to resolve outstanding issues so they can go back to their normal lives."

By Rozaan Boone
Coop City Times is now online

Visit The Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution (IMCR) website.

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