The Fight for Restorative Justice Funding Continues
In 2011 Alberta restorative justice programs fought to have the Alberta Community Restorative Justice grant fund re-instated.
The Fairview Community Restorative Justice Program (FCRJ) was one of many Alberta programs to speak up after the cut in funding to the Alberta Community Restorative Justice Grant program in August 2011. We were thrilled with the overwhelming public support for restorative processes and with getting the money re-instated.
It is difficult for non profit RJ groups to continue to provide the services, develop new approaches and expand the program with no assurances of consistent funding. Credibility is in large part determined by the support of our Police and government. Cuts or lack of funding to Restorative Justice programs creates the impression that Restorative Justice is not a government priority.
British Columbia's restorative justice programs are currently going through a similar issues regarding funding for their programs. British Columbia has been a positive leader in the west for restorative justice. They provide support for their communities, crown and RCMP with little to no money from government.
Growing evidence show restorative processes are more effective both financially and emotionally in healing harms. By providing concrete solutions, consequences and restitiution the benefit is not only to the victims who have a say in the outcomes, but to the offenders who make amends for those harms.
Our hope is that the British Columbia govenment will see the tremendous value in a resource it already has and support it fully.
For more on what is happening with restorative justice in British Columbia see the following link