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In Fiscal Year 2019, the Community Mediation Center Grant Program continued to make progress in implementing its mission to increase public access to community mediation in Massachusetts. Out of an appropriation of $990,000, operational funds amounting to $785,600 were distributed to 12 community mediation centers that did their part to advance public access to community mediation throughout Massachusetts. Notwithstanding a small decline of 1.6% in demand for services, in FY 2019, centers handled over 4,000 cases – 82% of which were court-referred and 18% were non-court-referred – that involved an estimated 8,000 parties, who hailed from cities and towns throughout the commonwealth and were racially/ethnically and financially diverse. The cases that were mediated resulted in a 72.7% agreement rate that was in line with typical agreement rates generated by other mediation programs. Satisfaction with the mediation process was expressed by a majority of surveyed parties, and sizable minorities indicated that mediation had a positive impact on conflict, conflict management, and on party relations and communication. The economic impact of operational funding provided through the Grant Program on Massachusetts communities as a whole was estimated to bring $8,620,424 in cost savings and $4,902,720 in leveraged resources for a total return of $13,523,144 on the state’s FY 2019 investment of $990,000 in the Grant Program.



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