History of Dispute Resolution Centers

Mediation is affordableIn 1984 the Washington State Legislature adopted the Court Improvement Act. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) legislation outlined five goals for the establishment of dispute resolution centers.

  1. To stimulate the development and use of Dispute Resolution Centers as an alternative to the courts for resolving certain issues;
  2. To encourage community participation in local Dispute Resolution Programs;
  3. To develop structures which can serve as models for other Dispute Resolution Centers;
  4. To resolve disputes within the community, and;
  5. To educate the community about dispute resolution and prevention.

Since 1984, 20 Dispute Resolution Centers have been established to provide alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and training services. DRCs are mandated to provide services independent of a clients’ ability to pay, guaranteeing that all citizens have access to a low-cost resolution process when they can’t afford costly litigation and/or when they want to work things out directly with the others involved.

There are currently 20 Dispute Resolution Centers in Washington serving 94% of the state’s population. Together the DRCs in Washington serve over 80,000 people each year with the help of over 45,000 volunteer hours. To find a dispute resolution center near you check out the web site for Resolution Washington, the association of Dispute Resolution Centers.