(Iowa Civil Rights Commission; 08/24/97; 0800)


For the third year in a row, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission recorded more than one million dollars in annualized benefits. Annualized benefits represents the cash value of settlement agreements to persons who file discrimination complaints. During fiscal year 1997, the Commission facilitated voluntary settlement in 193 cases and recorded $1,854,000 in benefits, for an average settlement amount of $9,606.

Fiscal Year Benefits # of Settlements Average


1992 $282,000 146 $1,932

1993 $430,000 127 $3,386 1994 $634,000 201 $3,154

1995 $1,378,000 233 $5,914

1996 $1,825,000 291 $6,271

1997 $1,854,000 193 $9,606

Thanks to the hard work of Iowa's twenty-two local human rights commissions and more than seventy volunteer attorneys and mediators, the Commission is able to offer the parties to a civil rights complaint an effective, alternative dispute resolution process called mediation.

Civil Rights Mediators work to resolve discrimination disputes amicably, through a voluntary, no-fault settlement process called mediation. Most of the mediators working for the Commission are volunteers. Many are attorneys. All have donated their time to help the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the people of Iowa fight discrimination.

Emphasizing mediation, with the help of so many trained and dedicated local commission staff and volunteers, has contributed to a major reduction in the backlog of cases. Five years ago, the Commission had more than 600 cases waiting to be assigned to investigators. Today, that number is fewer than 50.


(Contact: Don Grove 515-281-8084)