Can you imagine finding someone who is willing to sit down and listen to people argue, and then try to help them find a solution to their conflict – for free?
At the heart of the success of Jefferson County Mediation Services (JCMS) are the mediation professionals who donate their time and energy to the program on an ongoing basis. Although we started with just 20 mediators when the program began in 1994, we have about 240 today. In 2015, they gave a total of 4,804 hours to Jefferson County – an average of 3.23 hours per case.
Backgrounds and Qualifications
Our volunteers come from diverse educational and employment backgrounds and provide a large wealth of experience and expertise. They include:
- Businessmen and consultants
- Lawyers and paralegals
- Medical professionals
- Psychologists and counselors
- Government workers
- Technical specialists
Because our program is so comprehensive and varied, it attracts volunteer mediators from across metro Denver and Colorado. Each mediator brings an individual set of talents, personality and experience. Personal traits, aptitudes, training and life experiences make each mediator a unique asset to this outstanding service.
Each volunteer must complete a 40-hour mediation training course (or equivalent) prior to joining the program, and must attend our orientation and pass a background check.
JCMS volunteers share a desire to help citizens resolve conflict without violence. They also view the program as a credible way to build skills and experience that are recognized by our state’s professional organization, The Mediation Association of Colorado. Mediators commit to serve for one year at a time; however, nearly half of our current volunteers have served for four or more years. Their contributions are immense: without the dedication, skill and hard work of each of these mediators, JCMS could not have attained the remarkable level of quality that it offers today.
The community benefits from an increasing pool of mediators experienced in the variety of cases amenable to mediation. Some of our volunteers have gone on to establish or run community mediation services elsewhere, so the benefits continue to spread, giving citizens a viable alternative to other, more expensive, destructive and time-consuming means of conflict resolution (e.g., litigation).