Established in 2000, the Congress of Neutrals has provided Small Claims Mediation services for the Contra Costa County Superior Court. We recruit and train volunteers and mediators and have conducted more than 8,500 mediations for the citizens of Contra Costa County, primarily in small claims, civil harassment and eviction cases.
Since 2002, The Congress of Neutrals has been a recognized leader in conflict management and communication skills training and education, providing customized trainings for community organizations, governmental agencies, law students and professionals. We also offer MCLE accredited training in alternative dispute resolution, and through our Mediation Mentoring Program (MMP), we provide new mediators who have completed 25 hours of training an opportunity to gain practical experience at the Court under the supervision of experienced mediators.
In 2008, our Board of Directors resolved to expand its community efforts to at-risk youth. Restorative justice is our way to stem the tide of recidivism among juvenile offenders. The victim-offender reconciliation process (VORP), is a proven model which has been successful throughout California and the nation for the last 30 years.
The Congress of Neutrals is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation which grew out of comparative studies of community dispute resolution methods used in Japan and the United States.
In 2010, the Congress of Neutrals established the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) for Contra Costa County, partnering with County Probation. This restorative justice program focuses on relationships and the impact of crime on victims, with a focus on juvenile offenders and their victims.
Since 2010, the Congress of Neutrals has been associated with the Contra Costa County Public Law Library in recruiting attorneys to provide guidance to self-represented litigants at monthly meetings at the Public Law Libraries in Martinez, California, and at the Richmond Branch of the Superior Court.