RI District Court Judge joins Diocese’ Child Protection Board


PROVIDENCE — The Diocese of Providence recently reaffirmed its quarter century commitment to safety, justice and healing by adding three new members to the Advisory Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, including the Honorable Stephen M. Isherwood, Associate Judge of the Rhode Island District Court.

Isherwood, of Warwick, has spent his entire career in the legal field, first appointed as the Probate Court Judge for the City of Warwick in 2004, and nominated to the Rhode Island District Court in 2010 by former Governor Donald Carcieri, where he has excelled in managing a variety of difficult cases. Additionally, Judge Isherwood was engaged with student athletes in his capacity as a Rhode Island Boys High School Basketball Official for almost 30 years. The Judge’s passionate career dedicated to law and justice serves as a backdrop for his participation in advising the diocese.

The Board was established in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that was approved by the Bishops of the United States in 2002. Judge Isherwood and his new colleagues will be tasked with overseeing the Diocese’ efforts to provide a safe environment for children, and others, while working for justice and healing for those impacted by abuse.

The Judge’s long career on the bench has prepared him for the Board’s role in dealing fairly with past victims of assault, implementing Diocesan policy and ensuring compliance.

Judge Isherwood and Mary Frances, his wife of 34 years, raised their two children Michael (28) and Caitlin (25) across the street from St. Peter’s Church in Warwick. Isherwood serves on the Parish Finance Council as well as a member of the Parish Education Board. Born in Providence, Judge Isherwood received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Education degrees from Elmira College in Elmira, New York. He received his Juris Doctor degree from New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts in 1988. He was admitted to the Rhode Island Bar in 1989.

“My personal faith and career of service to the law drove my interest in serving on the Child Protection Board. I look forward to the opportunity to weigh in on the important decisions that continue to keep our communities safe,” said Judge Isherwood.

Judge Isherwood’s deep legal experience will be a welcome addition to the Board where he joins new members Karen Pinch, a former RI State Trooper, and Bishop Jeffery Williams, Pastor at Kings Cathedral in Providence. Other members of the Board include Attorney General Dennis J. Roberts II; Caryl Frink of the Episcopal Diocese of R.I.; retired Rhode Island State Police Major and former Director of Campus Safety and Security at Johnson & Wales University Michael Quinn; and Father John Unsworth, Pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Wickford.