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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did the parties ever ask you to do things you were unable to do? How did you handle such requests?
    would do that because we thought it would help out in the long run That s how you deal with trust that s how you get people to talk to you bringing food into Wounded Knee Sometimes you couldn t do it But you had to do it at Wounded Knee where it was important that they had some gasoline so responsible leaders could move their motor vehicles between these bunkers where armed people were so they could communicate with them and control the shooting So we knew when they were siphoning gas from the tanks of our cars that s how it was going to be used So we didn t fight it We just tried not to get caught on the road with out gas on the way back which would happen from time to time So you re there you couldn t do it and you shouldn t have done it but you did it because you knew in the end it was going to be helpful Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top Do the parties ever ask you to do anything that you are unable to do Answer Yes often what the community wants is prosecution In a police case they want someone fired they want someone prosecuted things like that Often that starts the process This development often occurs whenever there is a highly publicized incident such as a police shooting of a minority youth under disputed circumstances and people have already made a conclusion that they want something done It fits a pattern There was another case CRS was involved in where there was a whole series of problems of racial ethnic harassment and forms of discrimination by the police department and the community was low keyed I forget the exact incident that finally precipitated our being called but the community leaders invited us and the state attorney general s office to come to a meeting We went and sat down with the community leaders What they wanted was the prosecution of these officers They started talking about all these incidents that had taken place Some of them had been referred to the state attorneys office or the district attorney and nothing had been done What they wanted was prosecution In listening to them I noted that there were many other issues no Spanish speaking officers kids having to come out and interpret for them and other matters So I said Why don t we have the attorney general s representative work with you on all these incidents about misconduct harassment and violation of your civil rights and I will work with you on some of the other issues That s how I broke it down and basically we really had to guide them from prosecution to seeing the possibilities of other things being done In that way you as a conciliator mediator are interpreting some of the things you are hearing You are saying There appear to be other issues than just the

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0940.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you respond if you thought that CRS intervention might harm a legitimate protest activity?
    the sole purpose of considering whether to go into mediation Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question Did you ever run across a situation where a group was engaged in a legitimate protest activity that might have been undercut if you started some sort of consensus process Answer I m not sure if I could think of an incident I wouldn t try to stop a protest The protest is what really gets the establishment s attention and gives me an opportunity to say So what happens next If you do nothing or what you ve been doing resulted in this is it worth trying Give me a chance maybe I won t do any better but what s it going to hurt to try So the protest in many instances was the impetus to get the establishment to go for it If this woman thinks she can do something send her out there So generally that protest is the catalyst and this is where my integrity and my trustworthiness would have to come in Wallace Warfield Full Interview Topic Top Question Did you ever perceive that CRS s involvement would stop a useful protest activity Answer Are you following your nose now laughter No much of what I write about in that chapter of the book is about the responsibility of intervention I don t think most CRS people felt that they could ethically let a situation go unattended like that to the point of some conflagration even though they thought it was justified I mean ethically you sort of had to get involved Question What about short of violence though If there was a demonstration Answer Well I think why you were there was to try to make sure that the demonstration was peaceful It could still be loud the question would be balancing out what the demonstrators needed to do to present a forceful portrait of the issue they were dealing with against the city s wishes to end the demonstration entirely And that would often times become a conciliation point before you got into the actual agenda So the city would say This demonstration has got to end If it doesn t end we re going to enforce a temporary restraining order which means calling the police in and the possibility of violence And so you d have to negotiate that Okay we won t enforce the TRO but we don t want the demonstrators blocking the entrance to whatever the building Well they are blocking the entrance That was just a matter of some skill of how to work with both sides to allow for the symbolic aspect of the demonstration to go forward without compromising the protest movement not only what they were doing but the implications for negotiations later on Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Question If you felt like coming to the table would undermine valuable protest activity but the group who was protesting seemed okay with it would you go

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0950.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you identify the proper people to talk to or get involved?
    contact to get more information to get a broader perspective on this Renaldo Rivera Full Interview Topic Top Question How did you identify the other groups that didn t contact that committee Answer We had a long term relationship with one of the inspectors in that police department He was aware of what was happening because it was in the local papers on a daily basis We said Look what are we going to do How can you help us because you ve got your men tied up with all the demonstrations that are taking place and they re not going to go away It s one town and this is an opportunity for us to see what we can do together You can have better relations because you ll need to have better relations in this community I just asked Question So other people helped you identify the leaders Answer All you do is ask the question from a responsive source which is what CRS used to do in the old days in the South They d go into a community cold and have to find who the people of influence were So you start asking the people closest by You ask the clergy who has influence You ask the NAACP to see if you were able to identify some of those people of influence even if they weren t highly visible in the public providence Then we went and talked with them and expressed the concern and told them what was going on They were also able to influence the publisher of the paper because the United Way has this little corporate committee round circle They were able to talk to the publisher of the paper and that also influenced the nature of the direction that they took with the case So in identifying the people you need to talk to a large number of people and what begins to happen is that a smaller subset that s the other part of the underlying question you need to talk with a wide range of people in the community You ask Who is it that can get things done Who do you go to get things done in this community Who else do you go to when those people don t work What happens is that you talk to community members church members members of municipal departments And you talk with the private giving community What begins to emerge is a small cluster of individuals and those are the ones you want to talk with or have other people talk to That technique and that strategy goes way back to the beginning of CRS They may not always be lawyers and doctors They may be in some places where people have coffee in the homes Those people of influence exist in each place A lot of them are unheralded and unsung but they re there in each community and getting your way to them is through the process I just described Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top We didn t know any of the players at all There were a couple of names in there so the phone calls started as to who was dealing with this issue There were some ministers and there was a community group that had taken the leadership role We talked to them about what was happening and what they knew about the matter I said We want to see if we can be of assistance I would like to sit down with your group to explore this thing It was a matter of then trying to identify who are the players I think regarding the community groups it is who is moving this issue along Often it takes awhile to do it but that s our first process Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top How did you identify the parties Answer We went to each of the families over a period of months Question You define a family as Answer All the stakeholders that we could find The Native American Heritage Commission keeps a list of most likely descendents to any geographic area Through a list of people that Larry had provided we went down that list and worked with those families who likely had relationships to the remains Later we met with leaders of those families and eventually brought the leaders of those families to one large gathering of the tribe Question Over what period of time Answer I would say that it took at least a two and one half months We had at least 10 meetings You always have a lot of hits and misses people don t show up for meetings so you have to go back we were driving all the way out to these rural areas and meeting with people only to find that the right leaders weren t there So we d have to come back and meet again It was an exhausting pre mediation process Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top You were confident you knew the player the parties Answer We were confident that we knew how to get to the players We knew that we had a list of most likely descendents and that always leads to more descendents but we had enough of the contacts to track down the key leaders And they would come because of the common ground and the interest in the number of remains We knew this case would be spiritual to Native Americans and that there was a lot of interest in what would happen with the remains Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top We could never get the chief of police together with the tribal chief It would just be one accusation after another It was very tense at that level But we decided we could bring the town council representatives and the tribal council representatives together Vermont was really taking the lead on this case It was decided that we get the two councils together to sit in on the mediation Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Well I m looking at analyzing the conflict to figure out where or who to contact next I m going to look at all sides What police department who do I know that knows whom In Long Beach I ve had such a long association I ve known the last three chiefs I even think I know the up and coming chief I have several advisors in the minority advisory committees that I ve worked with over the years and I ve worked with the community relations division So I ll start with the Community Relations Division and figure out who s in charge of it who s doing it Then I ll hone in on the police side Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question Did you sometimes use outside community resources to help resolve conflict Answer Yeah again it would always depend on how the case played itself out The situation in the small community where the Iranian students were coming into the community college and they were really being discriminated against by the community is an example The incident occurred because some high school students had been driving along and used a baseball bat on an Iranian student as he was walking That was the triggering incident that got our attention and brought us into it I went to the police department and it was a boys will be boys kind of thing I went to the school board and the principal and it was Well they re dating some of the girls and the boys were mad and that s what happens in small towns I wasn t getting any empathy They wouldn t generate any understanding from the Iranian students perspective at all I talked with the community college about their guardian responsibility to these students There really wasn t any strong support there because they saw their funding and support coming from the community at large which was an Anglo white farming community I was just pretty much saying to myself This is going to have to take some legal action or the students are going to have to do something in terms of protecting themselves from the legal perspective The community s not open and they re not going to listen to the interests of these Iranian students I started thinking about that small rural community and they would have 200 Iranian students come in there It had become a place they would come for two years to get their English up to a level where they could be admitted to the University of Tulsa in the Petroleum and Engineering school So it was a pipeline for that community college I thought about how much money had to be coming into that community because of those students and what impact would this have on the community if those two hundred students a year went away The network that got them there could certainly stop them and pretty quickly cut that off And if they kept treating them as badly as they were and there was physical danger they d leave So I decided to go to the chamber of commerce and talk to them about What is the impact on this community economically about having these students and what s gonna be the impact if the student s are gone And so they got involved and of course that meant the business leadership got involved and things began to change then We began to see some empathy and some understanding that we need to do something different But again I appealed to their self interest I think in most instances that s where you have to start with people and try to figure out what is in it for them What s it gonna cost them if this continues and if I point that out then they re more likely to listen In another situation there were some educational issues for migrant workers And I learned through just talking with some people listening to people that the great operator was really the power broker in the community And I had never sat down and talked with him directly so I made an appointment went in and spent a couple of hours just talking to him about what we were doing and what our interests were and what would happen in the community in the long term if these kids don t ever get an education It was almost just honoring him by the appointment He opened the doors and things started moving then So that s part of the dance If you go in and you re not ready to move wherever the thing s going then you re gonna miss something good Q Now he didn t feel threatened by you A No He didn t project that He probably felt he was finally honored Q And he wasn t being personally accused A No But everyone knew that as soon as he said to the school board Let s go for it it would happen As a mediator you could go in there and try to strong arm but we didn t have any strong arm to go with except if this is not resolved then the agencies who do enforce may come in But it was persuasion and working from a perspective of good will and to appeal to people s higher being And 90 of the time people will respond to that And that s what this man did He made a call to the president of the school board and all of a sudden the school board president was open to some ideas And he hadn t been I m not sure that he had talked to that operator He just historically thought he knew what he wanted and he wasn t going to violate that That s the nuance and that s the dance It s following those trails and seeing where they go It s finding out who the power structures are and where the doors get opened and then appealing to their higher being And most of them will respond to that Anybody who s self interest is greed or power is not going to respond And that s when you have to know to hand it over to whoever the law enforcement people are and let go of it But most often when you give people an opportunity they ll respond Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top But before school opened we did a lot of work with community leaders including clergy with the school system and police department trying to do some contingency planning We assumed that there would be demonstrations but we wanted them to remain peaceful So we planned what these groups would do in case of an emergency Who was going to be the liaison between school and police for instance We also started looking for ways to form multiracial student councils so that as these new groups of students were brought together that they would have a mechanism for being able to work together Unfortunately in South Boston that was next to impossible because white kids and certainly their parents were very clear that they didn t want to do anything to try to make this successful Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top How did you know whom to talk to Answer We knew some of the players on the faculty from our previous work there Then one meeting turned to another and they would refer us to some of the students or resident assistants and other persons who were quasi faculty Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top In those types of cases the most difficult process issue is the reaction in the community There is no one reaction in the community to a shooting death There is no one leader How the community will process the death is the critical issue The first thing in meeting with the community was to assure myself that they were the leaders dealing with the shooting issue After checking out the matter in a few phone calls those identified in the media agreed to bring several of the leaders together who were meeting about this issue It seemed that they were some of the people who were moving this matter Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top So it s who is taking the leadership who are the real players in these incidents Sometimes we go by who comes forward and is willing to address the problem I remember one of the problems with which I was involved in my hometown of Wellesley MA One of the cases there was with Dee Brown a basketball player with the Boston Celtics He was stopped as the alleged bank robber who robbed a bank in Wellesley the day before It led to a celebrated case in the paper There was a lot of publicity Into that process came a public meeting which the selectmen held in Wellesley at which the issue of the police treatment of him was discussed The police were defending their procedures But the major issue that came out of the meeting was that other members of the African American community came forward and said that they had been stopped driving through Wellesley The issue was racial profiling even though we didn t call it that then There was a real problem From that meeting one leader reached out and helped convene a group of African Americans some who testified They became the community group Was everyone reached out to No not necessarily But I always think you want someone who might be on the negotiating team If you want to make some progress I think the best way is through the mediation process and getting the community involved But sometimes you don t know whether that group is representative of the community There was no election and there was no formal group formed I suggested that they call themselves something so they called themselves the Wellesley African American Committee WAAC They dealt with a number of problems not only with the police but a number of other issues like schools in Wellesley Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top The question often is are they a representative group or do they need to involve other people especially if we have already talked to other persons We can make suggestions like the NAACP is concerned about this and so forth Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Were these student leaders parents organizational Answer There were student leaders Question Did you meet with them Answer I d met with some of them individually Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top I started working with the Korean leadership and I knew some of the Korean leadership from other case work so I began to move in and actually we met the key leader of the young men s Korean organization that was really the organizer of the response for the Korean community to all those stores Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top The mayor had a Korean worker on his staff and she was our liaison for a lot of our pre negotiations with the mayor She was a key person who really helped us into the Korean community from the very beginning Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top If it s an excessive use of force case I m looking for who is the spokesperson for the complainant Usually it is the NAACP CORE SCLC sometimes some community spokespersons evolve So I m looking for linkages to the complainant side Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top since I knew this fellow and he and I were pretty good friends I thought we could work together effectively And the director was allowing him to get these people together to talk We made certain that the group was multiracial We didn t want to have

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0960.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you identify leaders?
    to get change in community you ve got to find the personal leaders the people who are really respected and honored Renaldo Rivera Full Interview Topic Top Question How did you identify the other groups that didn t contact that committee Answer We had a long term relationship with one of the inspectors in that police department He was aware of what was happening because it was in the local papers on a daily basis We said Look what are we going to do How can you help us because you ve got your men tied up with all the demonstrations that are taking place and they re not going to go away It s one town and this is an opportunity for us to see what we can do together You can have better relations because you ll need to have better relations in this community I just asked Question So other people helped you identify the leaders Answer All you do is ask the question from a responsive source which is what CRS used to do in the old days in the South They d go into a community cold and have to find who the people of influence were So you start asking the people closest by You ask the clergy who has influence You ask the NAACP to see if you were able to identify some of those people of influence even if they weren t highly visible in the public providence Then we went and talked with them and expressed the concern and told them what was going on They were also able to influence the publisher of the paper because the United Way has this little corporate committee round circle They were able to talk to the publisher of the paper and that also influenced the nature of the direction that they took with the case So in identifying the people you need to talk to a large number of people and what begins to happen is that a smaller subset that s the other part of the underlying question you need to talk with a wide range of people in the community You ask Who is it that can get things done Who do you go to get things done in this community Who else do you go to when those people don t work What happens is that you talk to community members church members members of municipal departments And you talk with the private giving community What begins to emerge is a small cluster of individuals and those are the ones you want to talk with or have other people talk to That technique and that strategy goes way back to the beginning of CRS They may not always be lawyers and doctors They may be in some places where people have coffee in the homes Those people of influence exist in each place A lot of them are unheralded and unsung but they re there in each community and getting your way to them is through the process I just described Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top Did the African American students have an organization Answer Yes there was a Black Student Union and there was the umbrella organization ALANA African Americans Latinos Asians and Native Americans While there was the umbrella organization the leadership really came from the Black Student Union They were the ones who carried the protest They had organized the protests and they were the ones directly affected by the recent incident The other groups joined in supporting them We didn t say anything at that meeting When it was over Larry and I went up and identified ourselves to some of the student leaders and indicated that we would like to sit down and talk about these problems and determine whether we could be of help to them Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top The first thing in meeting with the community was to assure myself that they were the leaders dealing with the shooting issue After checking out the matter in a few phone calls those identified in the media agreed to bring several of the leaders together who were meeting about this issue It seemed that they were some of the people who were moving this matter Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Through a list of people that Larry had provided we went down that list and worked with those families who likely had relationships to the remains Later we met with leaders of those families and eventually brought the leaders of those families to one large gathering of the tribe Question Over what period of time Answer I would say that it took at least a two and one half months We had at least 10 meetings You always have a lot of hits and misses people don t show up for meetings so you have to go back we were driving all the way out to these rural areas and meeting with people only to find that the right leaders weren t there So we d have to come back and meet again Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top One of my favorite people on that council was a guy named Jim Again he wasn t really an activist but he wasn t shy either He had some involvement in his local church and he became one of the key leaders of that council When Vice President Rockefeller sent somebody to Boston to get a feel for what was happening in the community we wanted to make sure that he got some feedback from the white community that was trying to comply with the court order not just from the Louise Hicks uncooperative types So Jim invited them over to his house and had a number of his white friends including all of those who were on the biracial parent council and he started to talk to them The council had been in effect for a while now and he explained that some of his newest but best friends couldn t be there because he couldn t assure their safety if they came to his house He explained that there were black parents who were serving on the council but if they walked down the street they probably would get killed He said You know I ve heard so much about violent blacks and rioting blacks and how destructive they are and how you can t trust them Well I m going to tell you something he said I remember watching the march in Washington and thousands of people standing in the rain quietly praying If those had been a bunch of Irishmen who had been treated the way black people have been treated in this country he said they would ve taken that damn Washington Monument and wrapped it around the Capitol So don t ever ever come to me talking about violent blacks because that s a mistaken notion and I m not going put up with it I was really impressed This was not the speech that Rockefeller s envoy had expected to hear in South Boston But people like that are the ones who sort of make this job worth it He became a real leader in that community Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top No we had them select their spokespeople It s a mistake to assume that the guy you re talking to is the leader So we said Hey go out there and choose someone yourself Had we chosen the spokespeople the inmates would have just laughed at us So they brought in some people that they chose You know in an institution you can know who the top leaders are but it s a lot harder to know who the lieutenants are Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top So the people that I contacted were the agencies that serviced that area which were very few but they were Native American and African American Latinos didn t have any group that they could call upon to serve them and the Asian community had a religious group that served them but they didn t get the sort of help from that group that the African Americans and the Native Americans got from their groups It was mostly internal and they usually took care of problems that arose within that Asian community and in effect they took care of themselves Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top But you just can t go in and assume that a given person is the leader You have to find out who the real leader is It may not be the one up there talking the one who has the microphone Sometimes it s the person standing there with a pair of coveralls on and his hands up into the bib area So you have to do an accurate assessment to find out who the leader is Then you begin to talk with those persons And then the most important thing is don t you try to take credit When I did this you always say Well thank you You give them the credit for what they re doing and you will find out that the result is very rewarding and productive Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top I asked the mayor five or six times throughout the weeks and he just wouldn t do it finally he says Let s do it We went to his house and he called all these people and I said Give me the fifteen people that run this town So he had fifteen or twenty people and we discussed what they thought of this Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Okay Once you do the assessment then you decide who gets to be the representatives Answer No the parties decide who their representatives and leaders are I ask them who are the players and they ll tell me we need to have this person we need to have that person Question But you need to have one person out of all the key players who s convening the meeting or do you convene the meeting Answer I need to be in charge of the process the participants provide the input At the beginning I convene the meeting or we do a co convening It depends on what s going to work If it s bad that I associate myself with somebody that has a lot of negatives already then I don t associate myself with that person too much although that person is critical So I try to find the safest person at the table or the one that has the most positives and work with that person to do what we need to do But in this other community last year I chaired a committee of leadership only because there was no agreement on who else would do it Toward the latter part of the meeting I said This is the last time I m doing this You ll have to select somebody you all can agree with This is your town not my town This is your case your issue You should care enough about your town that you re going to work together under some leadership here I m taking the first stage out I won t be around forever I was going to say also out of these five or six people who are obvious leaders some may be in the background In this other town we had police problems It was a big town in Texas I met with people I thought would be relevant parties in the community Then I went to a county commissioner who was not involved but who knows everybody First of all I introduced myself and explained what I m doing Here s what we need to do and am I dealing with the right people here I mentioned about six or seven players Are these the relevant people I need to meet with He says Yep I think you got them all I went through the original process but then I double checked myself I m going to spend time with these players I need to know there s going to be productive time If they re not the ones calling the shots what am I wasting my time for Let me go to the ones that are really in charge Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Yes I called him Let s say in that situation since there was a black victim involved I wanted to see the concerns of the black community so besides calling the mayor I tried to reach the NAACP and the ministers I tried to reach the First Baptist church also As I left town I called the F B I to see what had been happening The F B I district director special agent in charge talked to me and said they held a press conference at noon and he was on his way back to Houston He just filled me in a little bit on what happened I had also tried to reach the mayor and the mayor finally called me back and arranged to meet with him We arranged to meet about 7 00 or 8 00 that evening so on the way up there about thirty minutes from Jasper I called the mayor because I thought maybe I should meet with other people and he could notify them He said sure come on over we ll talk about that He was going to see what he could do Later I was up at his house and he had a whole lot of black men there all dressed up in suits and all that I thought it was a monthly meeting of some group I realized after a while that he had called them to meet with me There must have been about fifteen or twenty people maybe more They told me about what they felt about the current situation what they had been doing already and some historical issues involving race in the community We agreed I would help them and we d look into the historical issues at a later date but right now we would look at what s happening currently what was expected and who was doing what already I found they had begun working very closely with the white ministers Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top Question How did you identify which of the grassroots people to invite to the meeting Answer You just sought out the leadership The leadership comes to the surface It may not be of the same class as middle class blacks but it shows itself Question Again how did you know that How did you find those resources Answer Well I ve been around for a thousand years I used to be a community leader myself I was with Central High 9 when they entered Center High School I was a young NAACP worker in those days So I know it when I see it because I used to be a part of that too Some of the greatest things I ever dealt with was grassroots community leadership I could persuade people It s a culmination of a life of involvement in that Every aspect you see you ve done it been there done that And I tell whites now and I tell blacks don t try to squash leadership because it does not lead as you would lead as a middle class black Let it go try to direct it but be proud of that fire that sends them forth Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top Answer Well it s no different from any other problem of that nature When you have a problem and you come from a powerless group you start to ask people in the powerful group to give leadership and status to it So that was the NAACP and its leadership the Urban League and its leadership and then there was the Black Ministers Alliance Question So you went to the ministers first Answer I m not sure but they all were done It all depends on who s available to see me first I made contact because I already knew most of them You can t go too many places in this region that I don t know somebody Question Did you let them know beforehand that you were coming Answer No Question You just showed up Answer I just showed up on their doorstep You have a powerful group AME United Methodist Preachers as well as the Church of God and Christ That was Bishop Gengel for the Church of God and Christ the bishop was big in our area his son was Patterson that was his name His son was a member of the city council so the bishop had influence in the area You had a couple of AME preachers you had three or four big Baptist preachers or bishops in the sense that they all made decisions in that church you didn t have to wait for anybody You have three or four outstanding Baptist ministers They re some strong ministers in Memphis as it is in all places and it was this group that was giving primary articulation to the leadership Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top You get to meet all these people What s also key in a case like this in a situation like this is that you must not only identify administration leadership or white leadership but you must also identify Indian leadership and that s very hard You go into the Indian community and you might hear a lot of talk that so and so is the leader or the boss You hear all of this stuff you write that name down you call you get him or her lined up and then you learn that this person isn t the leader after all In some

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did CRS feel pressure from outside sources?
    agreement would have to be limited to what these parties could agree to and in fact when I do mediation training that s always one of the things that I emphasize As you bring parties to the table make sure that everybody understands what kinds of commitments those parties at the table can make and whom they represent Just because it s a Black organization for instance or a Hispanic

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you design a response plan?
    activities that you used when either race ethnicity gender or CRS affiliation was an issue Answer I would find someone from whatever the community it might be and in this particular situation it was in the black and the white community I knew that if I would involve the community in this process it would be helpful to have people within the community who knew me to introduce me to people and become a bridge and to be a patron of what was happening And in that particular case there was a prominent State Legislator that I had known for many years and he was well loved in the community and became my bridge into that community There were parts of the community that I needed to have some access to It was also true on the other side that we were going to want the business community leaders in particular cities to be committed because in this particular city nothing happened unless a blue book business leader was being alarmed So again it was through someone I had met in the city in another case that became the bridge into that organization where I could go over there and speak and talk about what I was trying to do I could win their support that if we could reach an agreement it was going to be something the business community was going to support Question In this particular case this wasn t a community that you lived in How did you cultivate those networks of people that you could call Answer I had other cases in this community before so I knew individuals here and there and that s one of the real things In that case it was a blessing because so many times you may go into a city and you have no context at all That really makes it even more difficult Question In those instances where you don t have any networks or any people to intervene for you how do you build networks or find them How do you identify the resources Answer Well I think mediation is a lot of work I think you have to be willing to just talk to a lot of people and as you do you re not only introducing yourself to people in the community but you re receiving information that might help find a solution And so it s just a lot of work and talking to people I think by helping parts of the community become involved in finding solutions sometimes what CRS has done is understanding the problem For some reason the parties never seem to come together or when they do come together it never goes anywhere and CRS when it works well helps things come together and if you can do that then that in itself gives you a new standing and gives you a credibility that you are able to do something You were able to bring talks together and just by being able to do that it adds something to your name Then you have to continue and show the parties that you re committed to helping them find a solution Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top Question Could you talk a little bit about how you prepared for your on site intervention when you first got to town Answer You work on the basic knowledge you have as to what you do when conflict is ongoing It is pretty given for experienced people as to what you do when you go into a city that s already in conflict The first thing to do is to try to get a handle on the nature of the conflict who s causing the conflict who could bring resolution to the conflict and then you start there You start with the people who are raising the issues at least I do Some people start by going to officials I never do that because I want to know in the eyes of those who are raising the issue what they consider the problems to be So when I go to the mayor when I go to the chief of police I have a fix on what the problem is as seen by those who are raising the issue Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top Answer We don t say Figure out what your goals are Flip that over and say Identify what the issues are And that s the next phase There was a guy who wanted to know how I got involved in the Justice Department And I told him I m not the issue You have to identify the issues In the meantime you re developing relationships Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top Now I m one of those people who starts off every case initially by saying to myself Okay how can I bring this to mediation It helps me from day one minute one to have an agenda in my mind As I m working toward that it may become clear fairly quickly that the case is not going to go to mediation and that s fine But if I start out thinking that it might go to mediation I have a perspective to work from when I approach the parties If that doesn t work then I ask myself Is there some training we can do What other kinds of assistance can we provide Are there some documents I can give them or maybe I can just facilitate some meetings or whatever But usually unless I am asked specifically to come in for some other purpose I ll assume we re trying to initiate mediation Remember the case I was talking about earlier about tax day In that case I was asked to come to facilitate the meeting I ended up facilitating another one similar to that about a month later in the same community And there were some great things that came out of that so it was a very rewarding and beneficial event But that would be an example of where I didn t attempt to go toward mediation even though there were some pretty good outcomes that arose from that particular situation Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top So protest activity by itself can lead to a lot of frustration and anger and that can lead to nothing But if directed it might lead to getting at some of the issues and problems that are affecting the relationship between the police and community It can be a springboard to doing something positive The two things that have to be taken care of from our perspective as I see it is first we need to know what can be done about the specific shooting itself and the redress systems for the shooting So that was the first thing We ve got to clarify that and put it into perspective It gives them a sense of direction to follow if they want to and it puts that aside because we really can t do anything about the investigation or prosecution Then it gets into analyzing and assessing what else is taking place in that community that with the attention given to this that maybe we can help both the police and the community to deal with it Anger is there So what we are trying to do is get that tension directed into some effective type of response That s the process of talking with community leaders In that information gathering they start talking about some of the problems issues and concerns After that meeting I had a meeting with the chief coming up and the superintendent and country supervisor So I got enough information there and said to the community leaders Well in general would you like to pursue this and deal with some of these problems if we can get the chief and the county authorities to address some of these issues And they said Yes So I went back and met with the chief When he told me the shooting was a justifiable police action I said Well you know there are a lot of other things the community is concerned about and I mentioned several He was defensive saying Oh we are doing this we re doing that Then I used the argument from our experience in other places and said You know we recommend meeting face to face with the community leaders We can facilitate the meeting so you can have discussions with the community right there about these issues We think it would be helpful He agreed and most often I think police chiefs do agree to meet with community leaders on police type conflicts Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top Question Do you have any routine assessments or anything you do where you go into communities and try to figure out how long these fuses are or how quickly they are burning however you want to use your metaphor Do you go in and assess the situation without being called in Answer Well I do try to find out how much support there is in the community for a particular perspective and for a particular perception I do that partly to get a better view of what s going on partly for practical reasons I mean if we are supposed to be dealing with community issues and it is really just the Hansen family that doesn t like the way the local police captain is handling things it is going to be difficult to handle that as a potential mediation or as a community conflict So just to see whether there is in fact a real community entity that wants to deal with this issue because if there isn t it is very difficult for us to do anything So it s really just to evaluate the depth of support and willingness to engage I might find that everyone I talk to whether in the local restaurant or at the local Post Office or wherever agrees that such and such is a problem but no one really wants to do anything Then my hands are tied too because if I don t have two parties with which to mediate there isn t a whole lot that I can do And in meeting with the institution Now if that institution recognizes that there is some problem in their relationship with the community they might want some training or some facilitation meetings or some examples of how to do things or approaches they might use with the police department or the school And of course we would be willing to do that But it s difficult if there isn t a critical mass and it doesn t have to be a large mass but there needs to be some core community base which wants to bring about the change And the other reason that that critical mass is important is that those people are going to need to keep things going after CRS leaves If changes are made in a community only because the Justice Department recommends them there s a real risk of the changes falling apart once the Justice Department is gone Unless you have a local body that is going to hold the right people accountable there isn t a whole lot that CRS is going to be able to do in the long run Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top In organizing an agenda do you have any criteria that determines what should come first last and come in the middle Answer Well like in the UMass case that we talked about matters of immediate importance had to be addressed first They basically agreed to what was important and what steps could take place They were on the same page on security and safety and it was a matter of fine tuning and getting some of these training programs through Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Who put the agenda together Was that a one shot mediation Answer I think that was a two shot two days and they were long sessions like 4 hours Question Two consecutive days Answer Yes I believe so Question Who put the agenda together for the meeting Answer I put the agenda together and we did that through the earlier consensus process with the complaints We listed all of those issues and shared it with the university and they looked at those issues and added issues Even after we went to the table other issues subsequently came up So it wasn t on our initial agenda as I recall But the agenda was agreed upon prior to entering mediation Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top I just felt that racial tension wasn t there But what we decided to do was a couple of the African American leaders requested that there be a survey that they ask questions like Do you feel safe on the school grounds Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top We started from the very beginning when the people decided they were going to fight against the Vietnam War They were developing this march from the park Rubin Salazar Park and it was going to end at East L A College So what we had to begin to do was start planning what was going to occur That included the sheriff The park is on Indiana Street and on the west side is LAPD territory and on the east side is L A County Sheriff s East L A college is in the sheriff s territory and the route was going to take place on Purdue Boulevard all the way to Atlantic Boulevard North on Atlantic Avenue to Brooklyn Avenue which is now Cesar Chavez Boulevard and then west to East L A College So the route had to be developed My boss Ed and Gonzalo were involved in that and Gonzalo and I were later involved with the city We were also involved with the college board to get the use of the stadium so everybody could file in there and then have speeches and all that Well in the end we weren t allowed that so we had to meet at East L A Park which has a large field But the problem was that it was right next to the sheriff s department substation So that s how the thing was We weren t successful in getting East L A College So then we had to meet with the sheriff and the sheriff gave us a battle about the crowd and about the people and How in the hell can the Department of Justice get involved in something like this All you re doing is giving these people permission Also they were upset with the Latinos because the Latinos were against the Vietnam war and they were against the sheriff and all his shenanigans against the Latino community Rubin Salazar had written a really devastating report against law enforcement The chief of police of L A had gone to the L A Times and stated to the publisher that This reporter Rubin Salazar is out there agitating the Mexicans and they re not ready for this kind of activity It was like the former chief of Police of L A saying The Mexicans are just that far from running around from tree to tree with their tails He was no longer the chief then But the law enforcement types went up to him and said the Mexicans weren t ready to receive this kind of information that Rubin Salazar was expounding on So then Salazar responded by writing this huge report about law enforcement and actually chastising the L A Times for even being willing to listen to the cops about the Mexicans readiness to get this kind of information So the stage was set in the sense that the Latinos were saying We re going to have this march no matter what you say And the cops were saying You d better behave because we re going to be out there in large numbers So L A County and probably the CIA were involved There was a lot of paranoia about the CIA being involved and taking names down and taking pictures and I m sure they were involved Also the state law enforcement types and the sheriff s department were involved too In order to get good information they got all their Latino officers to infiltrate the park area I thought This is going to be funny So the situation started and everybody was really concerned because they knew that if they could just get out of the park everything would be okay And as they went down the street they knew that if no one misbehaved himself including the law enforcement people it was going to be okay So every time you heard a siren you froze because at the time they didn t have the wails they had the sirens It just so happens that at the same time a Latino kid tried to walk out with something without paying and the shopkeeper called the cops So that to them was the start of the problem But they came and everybody behaved themselves and nothing happened So they went to the park but the tension was already really high One of your famous people there in Denver Corky Gonzales came here He was doing his thing on top of the truck bed He was really going well Then someone lit a firecracker and so the problem started The police moved in and they started moving people and the Latinos refused to move The police also said before that You ve got five minutes to clear to make it official and legal But they wouldn t move and then the police started moving in Well at that point when it s declared illegal you don t stop and talk to an officer as

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did you set goals for your intervention? At what point in the process?
    they were designed mostly for the media and we didn t want to do that That s really it a very simple kind of approach to a problem that anybody with common sense and a little experience would have been able to handle It didn t take a PhD it didn t take a rocket scientist it didn t even take a guy with a B A necessarily It just took a guy with common sense to go out there Edward Howden Full Interview Topic Top Question So how did you set your goals then once you got on site and you d spoken to those parties Answer Well I would say the goal simply arose from the nature of the problems that got defined by the respective parties The basic mission of CRS was to help folks who were in tense potentially or actually confrontational or violent situations with each other to help them identify their main areas of grievance and difficulty and see whether something could be done to reach a common ground and ease the tensions The problems automatically dictate the goals Of course CRS is concerned with not just trying to paper over the situation but hopefully enabling the people to address real problems that underlie their difficulties so that justice can be served on all sides by whatever resolution is reached Ernest Jones Full Interview Topic Top Question At that point did you have a goal in mind of what you wanted to happen out of this Answer Yeah The goal was to be prepared to respond to conflict between Olympic people and the community that it impacted and secondarily the people who were coming to the Olympics from all over the world We wanted to be prepared to respond to any conflicts that took place amongst the people that were coming to attend the Olympics not just the ones that live here But it was basically to be able to just provide conciliation services We also wanted to have input into the planning process and particularly in the contingency planning process where you do get this kind of stuff Question Now did you solicit the help of the key parties in developing your goals or was that something CRS did Answer No Question Okay Answer So it got to a point where we were done with the assessment and I kind of determined a plan of action Here s what CRS plugs into this whole thing here s what CRS ought to be prepared to do and here s what it s going to take to do that We were going to utilize all the regional staff and I think at that time there were six of us The Olympics go on 14 18 hours a day every day for 14 days and do so at multiple sites e g in Atlanta there were events taking place all the way in Savannah Georgia which is a five hour drive up in the mountains and there were also various venues that were anywhere from 10 to 50 miles out of Atlanta So it wasn t like you were just going into one area and dealing with the situation We had a multitude of venues and sites Atlanta was the key one but the other ones had the potential for conflict between people so we had to be open to that So we needed a lot people to come in As I recall I think the total was sixteen people in all The basic design was that all the people would come in for the fourteen days straight but then there would be breaks provided based on how things were working When things were slow we had the luxury of taking a break or something I had two person teams We had sixteen people so I think it broke down to two eight person teams and actually I was monitoring the whole thing And it was set up so that we had all the venue sites covered when we needed to have them covered It was set up so that we would have all the time periods of each date covered it was just a matter of logistically assigning people to the right place at the right time And then we also had it built in that people were available to move should something come up in some place external to the place they were positioned at any point in time People were mobile Question Were you looking for certain things Answer Well what we were trying to do is monitor the whole process The people that I brought in were all experienced staff But I just lost my train of thought Question You were telling me what things you were looking for Answer We knew for example that the venues in downtown Atlanta were pushing right up against and actually into some of the lower income areas in Atlanta where there s a high density of people living And because of the Olympics the flow of traffic was changed so you couldn t drive down the same street that you always drove down and some streets were closed at certain times and others were blocked off completely There was just a lot of disruption of the normal flow of movement within the city And so you ve got these things going on but you have all these factors that come together And you ve got law enforcement everywhere and you ve got it from all kinds of places I mean not only are they physically all over the place but they are from at all parts of the country and all different levels of government The one thing that they ve got in common is that they are all law enforcement people concerned with security You know they don t want anybody to get hurt And of course you know we ve got that bomb thing here and that s why they are out there But in the process of doing their job they were injuring other people s ability to do things So we knew there were going to be flash points where people were going to get hot and there was going to be confrontation Once people get into a confrontation the next thing you know you ve got a crowd and the potential is there for violence We couldn t stop that but in the preplanning and the contingency plan we talked about a bunch of these things made suggestions and recommendations But when we were actually on site the idea was to be there and to be ready to move because you can t be everywhere at once and you can t identify all of them so you just have to be prepared to go I mean you might actually see something and respond to it right away but what we did was we would get notified that there was a potential problem so someone would go over there and start to deal with it And I ll talk to you about how that activity went So you know people were out there and basically doing what CRS does Question Were you talking to people this whole time or were you just sort of walking around patrolling Answer We were in constant contact with the law For example you would be walking in this one area say around the Omni where there were a lot of events going on and there were people all over the place on the streets and everything else We would just touch base with the law enforcement people on the scene Ideally we would try to touch base with whoever was the commander for that particular sector but we would also talk to the officers that were just standing on the street corner Hey what s going on How are things going And that sort of thing We would talk to people just on more of a friendly basis then anything else because as soon as you start questioning somebody who wasn t officially there they re going to wonder why you re asking this and that can create a problem So there s only in terms of Hi how are you type stuff The rest of it was in keeping in touch with local law enforcement people that were on site There was a main command post and we had somebody in there 24 hours a day And everything that happened flowed through the command post and every action that was taken flowed out of the command post So we sat there with everybody else and we knew almost instantaneously what was going on I equipped everybody with cell phones We didn t try to use walkie talkies or anything because there were a zillion of them around So we were in instant communication amongst ourselves There was one large board that was a running incident schedule that logged the time the location and what happened It was constantly changing growing but it told everybody in there what was going on and if there was something that was a potential problem it told whoever was in charge of the command post The commander would make a verbal announcement to everybody in there about what was going on and give all the latest information and that kind of thing So we were constantly in touch with our command post and we knew what was going on all over the place because everything flowed into there So we would use that as a guide of where we would go and what we would do And we would also feed information into that process if we saw something happening or if we thought something needed to be addressed We would call our person at the command post who would talk to the person he needed to talk to and there would be an instantaneous response That was a real neat set up because it worked really well and if you consider the number of people involved it was amazing that it did But it worked really well in terms of information moving around So that s kind of how we came up with where we went And there were a few but not many but a few announced events Nothing pops to mind immediately but there were times where an organization or a group said they were going to protest at such and such a site because so and so is there Most of those protests were political in nature and they were foreign outside of the United States where people would protest because a particular country was there But we were always there to deal with the potential that comes from any planned demonstration No matter how well it s planned the potential of conflict exists so we would cover all of those We would always have someone present Since there are so many people involved in those things we tried to the best of our ability to get to know some of the protestors and other groups that we knew were going to be out there We would identify their leadership and talk to them in terms of working as a liaison and that kind of stuff Ernest Jones Full Interview Topic Top Question Let s talk about trust the significance of trust not only in this case of Louisville and the police officers but in general as a mediator how important is it for you to gain the trust of the parties Answer Well I think it s extremely important Let s say I m doing mediation and during the process my sense is that I didn t gain the trust of one of the parties or both of the parties and the mediation is not successful and maybe we go back to court or whatever else they were doing In that particular situation I would then not view that I had made my goal I would not have accomplished the goal because that element not having gained that trust which is part of the mediation process is unsuccessful So the mediation wasn t successful and I accept the blame for that I also recognize that there are going to be individuals that are not going to trust me no matter what I do simply because I m a Fed or simply because I am white Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top Answer Number one is that with street mediation you re fighting and giving forth to prevent violence reduce tension to the point where you can do the other Hopefully either you can come up with terms that are acceptable to both sides that will ultimately resolve the problem or you can get them to become sane enough to stop the violence So that s what you re trying to do Ultimately you want to get them to the point where they can sit down Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top I also knew how to take advantage of a crisis to move things along Question How do you Tell us the steps to take advantage of a crisis Answer Well I do it all the time Not only are you interested in resolving that particular crisis you are interested in setting forth mechanisms to keep that crisis from re occurring And the next thing you are interested in establishing among people who before then had no power you are interested in establishing in them a sense of power is the wrong word but a sense of ways that they can protect themselves In other words you are empowering them That s what I m trying to say And every time you ought to leave them empowered Question Yes so you are strengthening their capacity Answer Oh yes To deal with that problem should it occur next week or next year or next ten years that they aren t totally dependent on you because you may not be in place That they too can deal with it Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Let me now get us to the table It took a lot of prodding to get the inmate groups to complete their agendas The BBDCO didn t really buy in and they loved the time out of their cells They were negotiating and a coffee cart or donuts would come to the room where they were putting their agenda together and they d be sitting with their feet up doing no work It took forever but with the help of the outside groups we finally got some agendas together Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Question Who decides what they need do you or do they Answer We always start with what the group says it needs It would be nice to sit here and say they tell us and we respond but the reality is when you do enough of these for enough years you can sort of pretty well see what s needed and what s happening and you can lead the community group into knowing what it needs very often One simple thing is helping a group understand it needs a good agenda if is going into negotiations with or without a mediator That grievances should be presented in a way that they can be responded to If the agenda is fire the school superintendent or fire the police chief you know that s not likely to be achievable You encourage them to shape an agenda that puts that at the bottom and started with some of the substantive changes they want to see So you put the achievable at the other at the top of the agenda and push fire the police chief to the bottom When they make enough progress at the top and middle of the agenda they realize that you don t have to fire the police chief if he ll abide by what you ve agreed to up above on the agenda So that s empowering helping the group understand the negotiation process And you re leading the group that way certainly You re saying I know what s best for this group in this negotiation I ve never seen a group when we suggest resources that are available that wouldn t be eager to accept them if they were serious about resolving problems Sometimes it was a consultant we identified who could help them someone who had resolved a similar problem in another community or an expert in policing or schools We could pay plane fare and honorarium We ll pay this guy s plane fare to come over to talk to you and sit down with you In one case I brought three Hispanic parents from Chicago into Washington DC to meet with the Civil Rights Division CRD during Chicago s school desegregation suit There they had a chance to meet with the attorneys who were working with the city and putting a plan together So they felt they had their voices heard in Washington That is providing technical assistance knowing that s what the group wanted in that case It was hard to tell whether anyone was listening but the community members felt they had their voices heard Now that s another way of building credibility for ourselves Before that trust levels were really low There was at a big public meeting and CRD had asked me to go the US attorney had asked me to go Nobody else in the Justice Department wanted to go near it So what I brought to that public meeting was the idea that we would pay the fares for three people in your group to go to Washington to talk to the Civil Rights Division and be sure their voices were heard There was so much skepticism that somebody raised their hand from the audience and asked Are you going to pay our plane fare back too Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did the parties assist in the goal-setting process or influence your choice of goals? How?
    drawn out mediation I find myself fluctuating between this side being so reasonable and that side being so obstinate and then that changes So on any given day I might have favored one side and wished that the other side saw that But that changes it doesn t remain consistent through the mediation process To me that s just a verification of the fact that I don t have a specific agenda of what I want the agreement to look like I might have some ideas of what might work but even if I do I am very very careful to inject that in a way nobody will be too influenced When the agreement is signed it is very very important for them to see that it s their agreement I don t mind them thinking that Hanson helped them reach that agreement but it s got to be their agreement Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top We ended up with goals in the agreement They were worked out by the administration and the students looking at the numbers It was pegged to the high school student population graduating in Massachusetts I think they originally asked for thirty percent and the agreement was once they worked through the numbers twenty percent Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top The town council heard the concerns from you for the first time Answer There had been enough writing and enough information They knew generally what the issues were but they didn t know exactly what all the detailed points that the tribe was going to ask of them Once we got those from the tribal council we were able to convey them to the town council And there was concurrence that they would meet and discuss them Question Did you filter or launder those issues to make them palatable to the town council Answer We write them pretty much as they are conveyed to us There wasn t any objection to it by the town council but usually they are written in the language and from the perspective of the complainant That was the way the issues were conveyed that was the way it was brought to their attention and they decided to go with it They didn t express any reluctance Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top Do you influence what goes on the agendas You mentioned one example where people forgot to put an overriding issue on an agenda Do you help them shape the agenda Answer Well most cases I d say you might use the terminology of coaching but I think it s more a sense of feeding back to them what you heard in the assessment process Sometimes they haven t done this before so it s a matter of clarifying the issues Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top We had a list of issues that we anticipated the Native Americans would ask and a couple of things that had already come up One they wanted all of the remains They wanted them to be buried in a certain location and they wanted that location to be concealed Two they wanted to identify any of the artifacts that were related to what they called funerary objects to be returned with those remains and to be tracked and to go through and contact the professors to see whether anybody had unintentionally or intentionally borrowed any of the artifacts So those were some of the types of demands or requests that would be brought to the table for discussions So what I normally do is we get a list of those issues that the complainant has and in this case we would consider the Ohlone People the complainant We shared that list with the institution and said Is they re anything that is not negotiable on their list of issues and do you have any additions to make There was an additional issue that the institution made because some 200 remains were not available because they were on loan to another institution They had loaned them for study by another school which they didn t remember until later At some point later we got consensus and agreement on a list which served as the agenda when we came to the table We structured this so that we had five to six representatives for the Ohlone and three from the Institution All of the families had a representative at the table But they wanted their elders there because they have to consult with their elders on spiritual matters This is a typical situation in a lot of Native American cases the elders make the calls but they don t come to the table they send the young people to represent them So we had to negotiate some of the logistics in terms of the Institution understanding why the representatives would be going to their elders to have caucuses to allow for clearance of some of the issues as we go through the mediation process That was all concurred in by the parties before we came to the table Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top When we took our material to the director he only changed one thing We wanted to have a corps of experts stationed somewhere strategically within the state so that in the event of problems they could go anywhere and respond with maybe one or two people immediately We could visit the area assess it and then come back to the group and say Here s what s happening here s what I think we need here s the view of the warden The staff is okay or they re not okay This kind of thing We also talked about developing the team what it was that we would need including the use of other staff people that weren t part of the team At the time we envisioned a team of about sixteen people But the director didn t like that idea He thought that each institution

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  •