Congratulations to Dr. Char Berquist for being featured in the September 2015 issue of Mind’s Eye. Her work is also being highlighted on the Research web page and on the Missouri State homepage.
What are the results of juvenile mediation services?
Berquist, the director of MSU’s Center for Dispute Resolution, studies the long-term effects of the mediation services offered at the CDR.
While many university conflict centers focus only on services for the campus community, the CDR collaborates with community partners to develop programs such as the Circles for Girls and Restorative Justice programs.
These programs also offer experiential learning opportunities for students studying conflict as a part of Missouri State’s graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in conflict and dispute resolution.
Qualitative research shows programs are working
Together with students, staff and volunteers, the center gathers qualitative research data throughout the mediation process by conducting interviews and focus groups to understand why the programs work.
Berquist reports that re-offense rates among girls referred to the Circles for Girls program drop dramatically, with fewer than 1 in 5 reoffending. The juveniles involved in Restorative Justice programs see similar results.
“Not only do we see reductions in the rate of recidivism for these youth, but the rate at which they pay victims back for damages increases dramatically. When kids see and understand how a real person was affected by their choices, it changes them.”
Learn more about Berquist’s research in the 2015 Mind’s Eye.