Shakeya- Good Shepherd Mediation

When mediation works, when you see the victim and the offender walk out of the room with a plan. The victim often times becomes the champion of the child. We’ve had victims who have said, “You get your act together I’ll be your reference for a job.” or “If you get your act together, I’ll be your advocate at school.” It is a joy to see that result after seeing them at the beginning with their guard up. Seeing them following the process all the way through to walking out of here with a plan of action that’s going to propel this youth forward is gratifying and  makes it all worth while. 

The victims come in thinking that the youth should be punished for committing a crime. It is interesting to really see the turnaround from looking for retributive justice to really understanding what restorative justice is all about. The young person is going to return to the community, your neighborhood community, your school community, your block, your church, your job.

When you see the light bulb go off and realize that they get it. You see them understanding “This is what I need to do to make it right this time.” “This is what I need to do to fix this.” To see people really take this process and internalize it, that makes it worth it to me. To know that if there was a mistake, you have an opportunity to repair that harm, you have an opportunity to turn your life in a direction you want to go. That to me is all the justification I need. 

Shakeya Foreman- Good Shepherd Mediation

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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