Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), which allows individuals involved in a dispute the opportunity to work together towards resolving their own differences. Trained mediators work closely with the disputing parties by listening to all sides of the dispute, identifying areas of concern, and exploring underlying interests and possible solutions. The mediation process gives parties the opportunity to tell their story and to hear the other person while focusing on moving forward. Mediators remain neutral throughout the process and unlike a magistrate or judge, mediators do not decide the outcome; the outcome is determined by the parties themselves.
Benefits of mediation
- Free – HMP does not charge for mediation.
- Voluntary – for everyone involved.
- Confidential – Mediation sessions are confidential except in rare circumstances. (Mediators cannot later be called to testify about what was said in mediation.)
- Non-judgmental – Mediators are not judges, they do not take sides or tell you what to do and they must remain neutral throughout.
- Positive and forward looking – Parties usually have a better understanding of each other even if they don’t reach a mediated agreement, by improving communication, hearing the other person’s point of view and thinking abut their future relationship.
- Empowering – Parties craft and control the outcome.
- Successful – Parties are more likely to follow the requirements of a mediated agreement because they have crafted it themselves.
- Timely – Mediations can often happen more quickly than waiting for a court date.
- Convenient – Mediations can be arranged at a convenient time and place.