Fairview Community Restorative Justice (FCRJ) Program Growth and Development

The Fairview Community Restorative Justice program is entering its 8th year. We continue to provide a restorative justice program that meets the communities changing needs.

The FCRJ facilitators are a valued and dedicated group of community members trained in the RCMPs Community Justice Forums (CJF) model. We currently have 14 volunteer facilitators, a coordinator and one administration support person.  Our main referral source is the RCMP. We accept community and school referrals and are working with Grande Prairie Regional College to do RJ on campus.  

The program currently receives referrals pre-charge that deal with minor crime for both youth and adult offenders. The referrals are based on police discretion, offender accountability and the victims’ desire and willingness to participate.  

The goals of the program are to work alongside a charge and post charge or sentence. We have begun the process of applying to become Youth Justice Committee. In keeping true to the values of the program FCRJ will be a restorative Youth Justice Committee. This would allow us to receive referrals from the courts and to be recognized as an Alberta sanctioned program.The longer term goal of doing the restorative process post sentence comes from the recognition that while there are times that legal consequences are necessary; our priority remains to support victims of crime at this stage to bring closure and healing.

I would like to share some research done by Hilary Linton in 2003It will highlight information that is valuable in understanding that becoming a restorative sanctioned YJC inaddition to our current restorative justice program will in fact better serve the victims, community, youth and court system for the Fairview Detachment area.

The section most specific to what Im referring to starts on page 34, #4 titled Youth Justice Committees. While this article is not about Alberta Youth Justice Committees it is still relevant.

Please see the complete article; “Restorative Justice Conferencing and the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  

Pamela MacKay