Stop them before going to the judge

Through peace building circles, mediation, and conflict management training, Eva Marszewski is equipping high-risk communities with tools to preventing violence and other anti-social behaviors from being primarily addressed through the judicial system. She is thus averting future juvenile delinquency as well as empowering communities to cope with problems as they appear. She is engaging with the court system, police, and schools to entrench this user-friendly and highly preventative tool and is building ordinary citizens’ capacity to help youth in conflict grow into civically minded adults. She is doing this by shifting the decision-making power in the youth justice system away from the courts and into the hands of communities.

Marszewski is engaging ordinary individuals to help others change their behavior through peace building tools. She has developed tools that handle multi-party conflict, providing the youth in the criminal justice system, and in other difficult situations, with options and opportunities that help fulfill their personal needs and offer them support from friends, colleagues, and neighbors. By partnering with elementary schools, high schools, universities, COs, police centers, and the Canadian court system, she is giving community members greater decision-making power in determining the course of action needed for youth in conflict. She is helping communities develop conflict resolution competencies to give them the ability to handle and take ownership of their conflicts without immediately resorting to police or court intervention. Conflict resolution competency in effect de-escalates conflict situations and stabilizes communities so that they can come up with creative and innovative local solutions to deal with diverse issues at the root of the conflict. Eva Marzewski’s is convinced that sustainable personal change comes from within and is not brought about by coercion or shaming.

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