Why Mediation at a Time Like This?
EVENT – Thursday, October 27, 2022

We encourage everyone to attend this event as we strive to raise awareness about what mediation is and explain to as many people as possible how we are changing lives by promoting peace through mediation.

Our mission to promote peace through mediation will be featured at the Ottawa County Diversity Equity and Inclusion Conference later this month. Mediation Services Development Director Penny Shuff will be a featured speaker at the 2022 conference.

Shuff will explain how mediation is an empowering tool being used to promote peace within ourselves and our communities even during these conflicted times. During this annual event local officials will provide and update on their efforts to promote DEI and other important information. The conference runs from 8am- 3pm Thursday October 27th and will be conducted in-person at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville and virtually.

We encourage everyone to attend this event as we strive to raise awareness about what mediation is and explain to as many people as possible how we are changing lives by promoting peace through mediation.

Visit https://www.miottawa.org/CI/diversity-forum.htm for more information.

New First-Time Juvenile Offenders Program Receives Grant To Continue Changing Livesmlive
MLive • September 2022

“This is a way to teach these young people how to make it right to the individual and greater
community that they harmed, and learn through the process so that they don’t repeat the same mistake,”
Giddings Scott [executive director at Mediation Services] said.

READ MORE HERE

Holland-Based Mediation Services Hopes To Keep Juveniles Out Of The Justice Systemhollandsentinel
Holland Sentinel • September 2022

“The goal is to address the harm the juvenile caused in a restorative way and allow the juvenile the opportunity to avoid entering into the juvenile justice systems,”
said Lee Fisher, prosecuting attorney for Ottawa County.

READ MORE HERE

Local Organization Receives Grant To Expand Juvenile Restorative Justice Programfox17news
Fox 17 News • September 2022

“It’s about giving them a bright future for their lives and giving the victims of those crimes a more
direct role in the process so that their voice gets to be heard directly by the juvenile,” said
Elizabeth Giddings-Scott, executive director of Mediation Services.

READ MORE HERE

 

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
September 2022

“We are grateful for this investment from the CFHZ. This grant means we can now offer young offenders a better way forward, which helps to strengthen our entire community,” said Elizabeth Scott, Executive Director of Mediation Services.


Holland, MI (September, 2022) The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) has awarded Mediation Services $20,000 for a new program designed to help first-time juvenile offenders and the persons they harmed move forward towards a brighter future.

The RH²: Repair Harm & Restore Hope program brings restorative justice to the Ottawa County Juvenile Justice system. Restorative justice provides accountability for first-time juvenile offenders to repair the harm they caused.

“We are grateful for this investment from the CFHZ. This grant means we can now offer young offenders a better way forward, which helps to strengthen our entire community,” said Elizabeth Scott, Executive Director of Mediation Services.

Restorative justice centers upon juvenile offenders taking responsibility for their actions and restoring their victims to wholeness by hearing the victims’ perspectives and learning about how their lives were impacted. The RH² program gives victims an enhanced voice in this early-intervention process and offers young offenders the opportunity to avoid a juvenile court record if they complete a rigorous restorative action plan.

The RH² program works in collaboration with the Ottawa County Prosecutors’ office and the clinical counseling services of Bethany of Holland. Young offenders who qualify for the program must accept responsibility for their actions and agree to community service and counseling. Part of making restitution for the harm they have caused includes writing a letter of apology to the persons they harmed.

“The goal is to address the harm the juvenile caused in a restorative way and allow the juvenile the opportunity to avoid entering into the Juvenile Justice system,” said Lee Fisher, Prosecuting Attorney of Ottawa County.

Mediation Services has been providing conflict resolution services for nearly 30 years and created this pilot program with the goal of restoring hope to these serious situations for both victims and their juvenile offenders.

“Mediation Services is a consistent resource for collaborative problem solving in our community and is an ideal partner for this program,” Fisher added.

This announcement comes as the Ottawa County Prosecutors’ office is responding to an increase in juvenile cases because a law went into effect which treats 17-year-olds as juveniles instead of adults. This program could help reduce the number of juveniles entering into the court system and improve the lives of both the juveniles and everyone impacted by their actions.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area. Members of the Ottawa County Prosecutors’Office and the CFHZ Foundation will present the award to Mediation Services staff and board members at their office: 291 W. Lakewood Blvd. Suite 9 Holland Mi 49424.

The event will take place Sept. 6th at 3pm. Please allow time for construction on Lakewood Blvd in front of the office. Call Penny Shuff with any questions: 312-208-2706