Christian Brothers University’s (CBU) Director of Human Resources, Ken Massa, was presented the “Outstanding Service & Support” award by the Volunteer Services Bureau, Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court. This award recognizes Massa’s participation in the Mediation and Restitution Reconciliation Services (MARRS), a ministry of the Memphis Leadership Foundation that provides mediation and community service alternatives to juvenile offenders instead of court imposed punishment.
Massa became a mediator with MARRS in 2000 which enabled him to work with offenders and victims to facilitate an open discussion about the offense that had been committed. The mediation process emphasizes the occurrences of improper behavior and consequences on the offender’s future. Between the three parties, a decision is reached on a suitable number of community service hours and an apology is given to the victim with a follow-up written apology that is sent after the meeting. “The apology is the most important part of the process,” states Massa, “because it is part of growing up, saying that you are sorry and accepting responsibility for your actions.”
After several years mediating, Massa was tapped to serve on the Advisory Board, and more recently became Chair of the Advisory Board. It is for his work on the Advisory Board that Massa was honored. Juvenile Court recognized his work in recruiting more mediators and maintaining the idea that MARRS is a way to keep the involved youth positive. Ever the negotiator at heart, Massa continues to mediate meetings on a regular basis, in addition to his role as Chairman.
MARRS, started in 1994, is an opportunity for the juvenile first time offender to go through channels such as one-on-one and written apologies, church programs and field trips to talk to imprisoned criminals to realize and correct the misdeed; and hopefully, prevent any future crimes. The voluntary program is a viable option because its has an 8% recidivism rate compared to Juvenile Court’s 30%.
To learn more about MAARS or to become involved with the program, contact Adriann Wilson at (901) 761-7028. ###