Disagreements with neighbors or spouses can be ugly, and they can also be costly for the people and institutions involved. The Dayton Mediation Center has been working for 27 years to stem the social and fiscal costs of conflict by addressing it at its root, using volunteer mediators. The center works closely with neighborhood groups and the Montgomery County juvenile court to take on cases that might otherwise go through police, or result in either criminal charges or expensive litigation.
The Ohio Supreme Court is weighing whether to require juvenile offenders facing the possibility of detention to consult with an attorney before deciding to waive their right to a lawyer.
Current court rules don't require such a meeting. The proposal is pitting youth advocates against some judges who say the requirement hinders the rights of parents and juveniles to make the decision themselves.
Kim Tandy, executive director of the Children's Law Center in Covington, Ky., says too many children are going through the juvenile court system without legal representation.