Media Fellowship House and Delco Courts Form Alternative Diversion Program for Juvenile Offenders
In May 2017 the Media Fellowship House introduced a creative, new Alternative Diversion Program (ADP) to further support and develop the youth of our community.
The ADP is designed for young people between the ages of 12 and 16 who have been charged with non-violent offenses such as truancy, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, and curfew violations in Media, Swarthmore and Nether Providence. If they elect to participate in our ADP, they then view the film “Words of the Heart” about the history of Fellowship House, write a related essay and participate in a discussion about their personal responses and experiences . This takes place at the Media Fellowship House in lieu of the usual County Community Service. As the program’s initiator District Judge Deborah Krull, Esq. states, “I believe that the Media Fellowship House Program is an opportunity for young offenders to learn a lesson from their service, rather than just receive a punishment.”
The idea behind our ADP arose from discussions between Judge Krull and Media Fellowship House Executive Director Jerry Duffy. The Honorable Chad F. Kenney, President Judge of the Delaware County Court, signed an order formally authorizing the program for Judge Krull’s District.
“MFH is particularly thankful and enthused for the opportunity to use our video to improve the lives of young people in our community, “ said Jerry Duffy. “For more than three years, ‘Words of the Heart’, originally created in 2006, has been successfully used as a mechanism for students from Delaware County to earn scholarship money through an essay contest sponsored by our organization. We hope that the video and process will prove a successful alternative for traditional punishments, and set an example for other programs like it.