Youth Justice Committee
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The Youth Justice Committee Program offers an alternative to the formal court process for young people in trouble with the law.
A restorative justice approach stresses accountability and responsibility. The focus is on repairing the harm and making youth accountable for their actions through meaningful consequences. A conferencing model allows community members to become involved in the restoration of justice concerning our youth. However, it takes volunteers to make this program successful.
Youth Justice Committee volunteers do not require any special skills. Training is provided by the Ministry of the Attorney General. Volunteers are required to submit a Criminal Records Check and sign an Oath of Confidentiality. The time commitment will vary depending on how many volunteers are on the Committee and how many cases are referred to the Youth Justice Committee.
An Alternative Approach
Youth Justice Committee programs are not a replacement for the current youth justice system. The program is an alternative approach (usually for first time offenders) who have committed a minor offense, but serious enough to result in criminal charges. The youth must agree to take responsibility for their actions and fully participate in the program.
Community volunteers are trained as conference facilitators. Conferencing is a respectful meeting of the people impacted by a crime. Victims can voice how the crime affected them and what they feel can be done to make amends. Offenders have an opportunity to share personal issues that may have contributed to their actions. Family members and support persons for both the victim and the offender are welcome to participate in the conference.
Upon considering the issues and implications surrounding the crime, the Committee decides on the most appropriate sanctions to resolve the matter.