Serving our community for more than 35 years


Restorative Justice Initiative Receives Dutchess County Agency Partner Grant Award

The Mediation Center of Dutchess County is pleased to share that its Restorative Justice Initiative will be receiving grant support from the Dutchess County Government Agency Partner Grant Program. In its 10th year, the program provides vital support to nonprofit organizations addressing unmet community needs. The grant awarded to MCDC will help provide restorative services to nonprofits, schools, and individuals throughout the county. This investment will strengthen relationships and resilience for all. For the full announcement, click here.


Covid -19 Update

Important Covid-19 Update: The Mediation Center of Dutchess County remains open, but we have temporarily suspended all face-to-face contacts and the staff is working remotely.  Center staff are working behind the scenes on operationalizing a re-alignment of our services in accordance to the NYS Court consolidation and the health guidelines issued by the CDC and county/state government.  Like many of you, we find ourselves in an evolving and unprecedented time - both professionally and personally - and we thank you for your patience. In the interim, please feel free to reach out to staff listed below with any questions or concerns you may have. Staff are working remotely and will return your call or email as soon as they can. If you have a case already in court, need to start a court case, or have specific questions about your juror service, NYS Court has set up a Coronavirus Telephone Hotline: 833-503-0447. You may also refer to the New York Court's website at .  


 Name  Title  Email Phone Program
Leanne Lawson Executive Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 845-471-7213 x209 All inquiries
Claudia Abbott-Barish Director of Restorative Justice Programs This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 845-471-7213 x203 Restorative Justice 
Des Padilla Family & Divorce Program Coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 845-471-7213 x207 Family & Divorce  



Dutchess Mediation Center secures almost $10K in grants

Mediation Center of Dutchess County secured nearly $10,000 in grant money to fund training sessions.

The two grants obtained from Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley add up to $9,375. The money will go toward Restorative Justice training sessions, according to a press release.

"With this grant from the Community Foundations, we can train in a new modality, known as Restorative Justice, which looks to identify and address harms, needs and obligations in order to not only resolve, but also heal situations," said Jane Cottrell, executive director of Mediation Center of Dutchess County. "By investing in this training for staff and volunteers, Restorative Justice can also be taught and applied in our communities and schools."

The training sessions will start in spring 2017, and Restorative Justice techniques will be implemented into the organization within a year.

, Poughkeepsie Journal 3:54 p.m. EST December 19, 2016


7th World Elder Abuse Awareness Day Focuses on Ageism

The Coalition on Elder Abuse in Dutchess County held its 7th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, June 12, 2015 at the Poughkeepsie Elks Lodge. This year’s theme was Older Adults Deserve Dignity…ageism is no joke.  Keynote speaker, Ashton Applewhite, focused on the role of ageism in elder abuse.  Ashton also writes a blog, This Chair Rocks and Yo, Is This Ageist?  


More than 165 people, including Dutchess county residents of all ages, state and county elected officials, and vendors attended.  

The Champion for Elder Rights & Safety Award was presented to Robert Allers, who



Dutchess Mediation Center hosts event on Walkway

 Anti-bullying Walk raises $12,000


More than 300 people from throughout the Hudson Valley spoke out against bullying Saturday on the Walkway Over the Hudson. The fourth annual Anti-bullying Walkathon, hosted by the Mediation Center of Dutchess County, raised more than $12,000 for the agency’s anti-bullying programs.  “We get (reports about bullying incidents) every month from school officials, from young people and their parents,” said Jody Miller, executive director of the Mediation Center. “Bullying is preventable, but it takes the whole community. Holding this event enables us to develop multiple strategies to combat bullying in conjunction with our community partners.”


Red Hook High School graduate William Wasik

Anti-bullying walkathon participants on the Walkway