25-2902. Legislative findings.

The Legislature finds that:

(1) The resolution of certain disputes and offenses can be costly and time consuming in the context of a formal judicial proceeding;

(2) Employing restorative justice and mediation to address disputes can provide an avenue for efficiently reducing the volume of matters which burden the court system in this state;

(3) Restorative justice practices and programs can meet the needs of Nebraska's residents by providing forums in which persons may participate in voluntary or court-ordered resolution of juvenile and adult offenses in an informal and less adversarial atmosphere;

(4) Employing restorative justice can provide an avenue for repair, healing, accountability, and community safety to address the harm experienced by victims as a result of an offense committed by youth or adult individuals;

(5) Restorative justice practices and programs are grounded in a wide body of research and evidence showing individuals who participate in restorative justice practices and programs are less likely to reoffend;

(6) Unresolved disputes of those who do not have the resources for formal resolution may be of small social or economic magnitude individually but are collectively of enormous social and economic consequences;

(7) Many seemingly minor conflicts between individuals may escalate into major social problems unless resolved early in an atmosphere in which the persons involved can discuss the dispute or offense through a private and informal yet structured process;

(8) There is a need in our society to reduce acrimony and improve relationships between people in conflict which has a long-term benefit of a more peaceful community of people;

(9) There is a compelling need in a complex society for dispute resolution and restorative justice whereby people can participate in creating comprehensive, lasting, and realistic resolutions to conflicts and offenses;

(10) Mediation can increase the public's access to dispute resolution and thereby increase public regard and usage of the legal system; and

(11) Office-approved nonprofit dispute resolution centers can make a substantial contribution to the operation and maintenance of the courts of this state by preserving the court's scarce resources for those disputes and offenses which cannot be resolved by means other than litigation.

Source:Laws 1991, LB 90, § 2; Laws 2019, LB595, § 2.