Cheryl- Good Shepherd Mediation

In Pennsylvania the first case of restorative justice was in the York Gettysburg area and in North America it really started in Canada. The first case involved a group of kids that went through the neighborhood and slashed everybody’s tires. They got the kids together and they made them go door to door and apologize to each person and provide monetary restitution for the damages. Instead of incarcerating the young people, they used restorative justice. There’s a big program in MN with Mark Umbreit. Restorative Justice started in PA through the Howard Zehr, Lorraine Amstutz-Stutzman and Mennonite Conciliation Center in Lancaster. The first case in PA was facilitated by a colleague who lived in Gettysburg at the time. It was a situation involving a father and his child who were sitting in a bay window in the f their living room playing chess. Some kids who were joy-riding while under the influence lost control of the car and crashed through the plate glass window. As a result the young person died. The kids as well as the family were totally devastated. The Judge thought it would be really helpful for the parties to talk to each other face to face and asked our colleague to facilitate the meeting. It ended up working really well and the young people, as part of their symbolic restitution, helped the family dig a swimming pool in their backyard.

Good Shepherd Mediation Program has been facilitating victim/offender conferences since the 90’s. We work exclusively with juveniles. The juveniles who participate must take responsibility for their role in the delinquent act that was committed. They are held accountable by being placed into this diversion program and fulfilling their responsibility to attend the conference and face the prospect of meeting face to face with the victim. We want to make sure that that accountability piece is in place way before we actually put everyone in the same room together. 

Cheryl Cutrona – Good Shepherd Mediation

http://www.phillymediators.org/

The Good Shepherd Mediation Program, established in 1984, is a neighborhood justice center located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. People in conflict come to the Mediation Program to resolve their disputes through mediation.

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