Darryl was riding bikes with his friends in a new neighborhood when they discovered an entrance to a junk yard. They were curious about what was inside and tried to sneak through the gate, but once they made it to the other side a large pile of scrap made it impossible to access the yard. The boys rode off to the skate park and were surprised 30 minutes later when police officers arrested them. Darryl was charged with criminal trespass and was referred to mediation by his probation officer.
The junk yard owner was not able to participate in mediation, so CCR mediated a case between Darryl and his parents, Ken and Sharon. Family mediations are an opportunity for youth and their families to discuss an incident that has led to an arrest to determine if there are underlying conflicts and to talk about possible resolutions.
Ken and Sharon both agreed that Darryl was a good kid. His older brother, Mike, had been a lot of trouble and as a result they had been pretty strict with Darryl. He wasn’t allowed to hang out on the street and he spent most of his free time at home, babysitting his younger brother.
Early in the mediation the family disclosed that they did not all live in the same home and while Darryl had been speaking with each of his parents independently, and they had been speaking to one-another, it had been quite some time since all three of them had spoken in the same room. Both parents were relieved that Darryl had not been in more serious trouble and the family discussed potential consequences for being arrested.
The mediator opened up the conversation, asking if anyone had any other topics they wanted to discuss, and the parties went on to talk about other rules and expectations that they had not all discussed in some time. The mediation gave them a chance to talk about Darryl’s school work, inviting friends over to the house, and whether or not Darryl could get a part-time job. While the family did not resolve every issue discussed in the mediation, they did have a chance to communicate openly together and create a plan for moving forward.