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Community forum to explore workings of justice system

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Neighborhood Resource Organization, in conjunction with the Mercyhurst University Civic Institute and United Way of Erie County, will host a community forum titled “How the Justice System Works” on Wednesday, March 11, at the SS. Peter and Paul Byzantine Church Social Center, 511 E. 34th St.

The evening will begin with a light meal and meet and greet from 6 to 6:20 p.m. The forum will include a general overview of the justice system process, followed by a moderated question-and-answer session with panelists representing all facets of the justice system.

Panelists will include Bob Blakely of Erie County Juvenile Probation, Erie Police Chief Randy Bowers; Erie County District Attorney Jack Daneri; Erie County Public Safety Director John Grappy; Erie County Chief Public Defender Patricia Kennedy; Patty Lightner, district director for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole; Erie County Sheriff John Loomis; Assistant U.S. Attorney Marshall Piccinini; Erie County Judge Robert Sambroak; Jeff Shaw of Erie County Adult Probation; and Millcreek Township Police Chief Mike Tesore. Amy Eisert and Adam Saeler of the Mercyhurst Civic Institute will moderate.

The event is free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is requested.  To register, contact John Villa, NRO Neighborhood Outreach Coordinator, at 814-572-0755 or

The Neighborhood Resource Organization (NRO), a component of the Unified Erie Violence reduction initiative, provides information and resources to neighborhood groups and residents of Erie County. It works to carry out strategies identified in the Community Action Plan to address social and physical conditions in neighborhoods that lead to problem behaviors. 

The NRO planned this forum in response to citizen comments and an information and training needs survey that indicate a strong interest in learning more about the criminal justice system.

For more information, contact Dave Deter, executive director of the Neighborhood Resource Organization, at 814-434-8294 or