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Restorative Justice within a Community Policing Framework

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Emma Truin

on 13 March 2014

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Transcript of Restorative Justice within a Community Policing Framework

Restorative Justice Within a
Community Policing Framework

What is Restorative Justice?
AJS Continued
The AJS programs aim to reduce the rates of victimization, crime & incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities working with AJS programs

& helping the mainstream justice system become more responsive and sensitive to the needs and culture of Aboriginal communities
The Dimensions of Restorative Justice
The most common restorative justice initiatives are Victim-Offender Meditation, Circle Sentencing, Community Holistic Healing Programs, and Family Group Conferences
Objectives of AJS:
To contribute to a decrease in crime rates of victimization, crime & incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities operating in AJS
To assist Aboriginal people to take greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities
To reflect and include relevant Aboriginal values within the justice system
The Aboriginal Justice Strategy
AJS enables Aboriginal communities to have increased involvement in the local administration of justice

AJS also provides timely and effective alternatives to mainstream justice processes when the circumstances are appropriate
Victim-Offender Meditation (VOMP)
Gives both the victim and the offender the opportunity to express their feelings and concerns with the assistance of a mediator
The offender and the victim resolve the conflict and the consequences caused by the offence, and learn to understand each other
Circle Sentencing
All participants including the judge, defense lawyer, prosecutor, police officer, victim and his or her family, offender and his or her family, and community residents, sit facing one another in a circle
Chapter 9
an approach to problem solving that involves:
the victim
the offender
their social networks
justice agencies
the community

Fundamental Principle
Criminal behaviour injures not only victims but also communities and offenders.
Retributive Justice
Crime violates the state and it's laws.
Justice focuses on establishing guilt...
...so that doses of pain can be meted out.
Justice is sought through conflict between adversaries...
...in which the offender is pitted against the state rules and intentions outweigh outcomes, and...
...one side wins and the other loses.
Restorative Justice
Crime violates people and relationships.
Justice aims to identify needs and obligations...
...so that things can be made right.
Justice encourages dialogue and mutual agreement...
...gives victims and offenders central roles, and...
...the outcome is judged by the extent to which responsibilities are assumed, needs are met, and healing (of individuals and relationships) is encouraged.
Primary Objectives of Restorative Justice
Address the needs of victims of crime
Prevent reoffending by reintegrating offenders into the community
to enable offenders to acknowledge and assume responsibility for their behaviour
to create a "community" of support and assistance for the victim and the offender and for the long-term interests of the community
to provide an alternative to the adversarial system of justice
Phase 1
Phase 2
Phase 3
Phase 4
Intake case from a referral source
Preparation for the meditation
Meditation Session
Post-Session Activities
Designed to reach a consensus about the best way to dispose of a case
Premised on traditional Aborignial healing practices
Address needs of communities, families of victims and offenders through reconciliation, restitution, and reparation.
The sentence is less important than the process used to select it
The Potential of Circle Sentencing
Criminal Courts
The conflict is the crime
The sentence resolves the conflict
Focus on past conduct
Take a narrow view of behaviour
Avoid concern with social conflict
Result (the sentence) is most important
Community Circles
Crime is a small part of larger conflict
The sentence is a small part of the solution
Focus on present and future conduct
Take larger, holistic view
Focus on social conflict
Result is least important - the process is most important, as the process shapes the relationship among all parties
Circle Sentencing vs. Adversarial Justice
Critical Issues in Restorative/Community Justice
Despite the success of many initiatives in restorative justice within the collaborative framework involving justice personnel, communities, circle sentencing, and Aboriginal communities themselves, there are a number of critical issues that are still apparent.
Critical Issues in Restorative/Community Justice
Assessing the Effectiveness
There have been few evaluations of whether restorative justice strategies have achieved their objectives
No controlled evaluations of circle sentencing
The Dynamics
Issues that may undermine the efficiency of restorative justice initiatives:
Crime Victims and Restorative Justice

Victims may be "re-victimized" by the process of restorative justice.
Communities have questioned whether community justice initiatives provide adequate protection for victims of violence and abuse and whether sanctions imposed are appropriate.
Restorative Justice in Urban Centers
It is often argued that programs such as circle sentencing are only suited to rural communities that have a strong cultural identity and foundation.
Each stage of the circle sentencing is critcal to it's overall success.
It is generally only available to offenders who plead guilty.
The process is community specific.
Relies heavily on community volunteers.
Cases heard in the sentencing circle may still be sent for a period of incarceration.
Other sanctions are available (banishment, house arrest, community service)
Circle Sentencing: A Partnership
Circle sentencing is an example of how the principles of restorative justice can be applied in a framework in which justice personnel share power and authority with community residents.
In contrast to the adversarial approach...
Circle sentencing:

reacquaints individuals, families and communities with problem-solving skills
rebuilds relationships within communities
promotes awareness and respect for the values and lives of others
focuses on causes, not symptoms, of problems
The Potential
the majority of offenders whose cases have been heard in sentencing circles have been adults, but...
an increasing number of young offender's cases are being handled through provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
This technique may be very effective in reducing of eliminating criminal behaviour
Particularly for offenders who have lengthy records in the formal Criminal Justice System.
The Potential
Judge Barry Stuart of the Territorial Court of Yukon - cautions that this approach is not suitable to all offenders or crimes.
The success of the circle depends upon the cooperation of the community and justice professionals.
Imperative that the needs, rights, and interests of crime victims and offenders are protected.
Aboriginal Justice Strategy
AJS is comprised of two funding components:

1) The community-Based Justice Programs Fund

2) The Capacity Building Fund

Community-Based Justice Programs Fund
Center of the AJS
These specific programs provides support to community-based justice programs in partnership with Aboriginal communities
These programs are cost-shared with provincial and territorial governments & are designed to reflect the culture & values of the communities where they are suitable
Objectives of Community-Based Justice Programs Fund
To help reduce the rates of crime & incarceration among Aboriginal people in communities involved in cost-shared programs
Allow Aboriginal people in their communities the opportunity to assume greater responsibility for the administration of justice in their communities
To raise responsiveness, fairness, inclusiveness & effectiveness of the justice system with respect to justice & its administration
To meet the needs of Aboriginal people in appropriate areas would be:
- diversion
- the development of pre-sentencing options
-community sentencing alternatives (circles)
-the use of Justices of the Peace
-family & civil meditation
-& additional community services
Capacity Building Fund
Is designed to support capacity-building efforts in Aboriginal communities
It focuses on knowledge & skills for the establishment and management of community-based justice programs
Objectives of Capacity Building Fund
To support the training &/or development needs of Aboriginal communities that are not involved in community-based justice programs
On-going training needs of current community-based justice programs, like:
-supporting activities, data collection & sharing best practices and useful models
To support the development of new justice programs
& to support and build trust with surrounding partnerships
Restorative Justice Principles in the Youth Criminal Justice Act
April 1, 2003, the Youth Criminal Justice Act became law
Criminal justice system must distinguish between violent and nonviolent offenders
Focus on prevention and meaningful consequences
Extrajudicial measures that serve as means (other than court) to deal with people who have committed offences
Police Officer
Before using the formal youth justice court system officers are directed to use the following options:
Police Officer Decision #1
Take no further action
Police Officer Decision #2
To warn the young person
Police Officer Decision #3
To administer a caution
Police Officer Decision #4
To refer the young person to a program such as a community accountability program, a police-based diversion program, or an agency in the community that may assist the young person not to commit offences
Police Officer Decision #5
To refer the young person to an extrajudicial sanctions program due to the seriousness of the offence and the nature and number of previous offences committed, or other aggravating circumstances
Restorative Justice Principles in Youth Criminal justice Act Continued:
Extrajudicial measures in YCJA are designed:
to provide an effective and timely response to offending behaviour
to encourage young offenders to acknowledge and repair the harm caused to victim and community
to encourage the families and community members in designing and implementing measures directed at the offending person
victims can also participate in the decisions and receive reparation
The Role Of The Police In Restorative Justice
Officers may assume primary role in organizing and facilitating community conferences.
Role is considered co active because of the relationship between police and community
Officers must understand the principles of restorative and community justice as well as develop the skills to bring together the various stakeholder groups, including the offender and the victim, support groups and other parties.
Supreme Court, S.718.2
R.V.Gladue - A court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principle:...
(e) all available sanctions other than imprisonment that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders
Restorative Or Community Justice Initiatives
Based around law,traditional practices & spirituality
Place a strong emphasis on healing the victim, offender, & where required the community
Residential Schools
Residential History
Aboriginal children were forced to leave their homes on Indian reservations and forced to attend indian residential schools
19th century until 1996
The Case
14 year old boy sprayed pepper spray in hallway
50 students, 10 staff members
boy then gives spray can to another student who was unaware of the incident
boy then tells police who gave him the can
police officer discussed community conferencing
both principal and offender agreed
The Offences
S. 90, C.C.C. - Possession of Prohibited Weapon
S. 430(1)(a), C.C.C. - Mischief
The Offender
Aboriginal youth from a broken home
3 different stepfathers, two different stepmothers and 12 siblings
living with 23 year old sister
parents abuse substances
no criminal record
attended the school for a couple months
The Process
On the date of the offence the constable met with the faculty
discussed the concept of community conferencing
six staff and six students that were affected by incident and willing to cooperate and participate
his birth father, sister and a good family friend were also contacted and asked to participate
scheduled for approximately 48 hours after the incident
The Conference
Lasted 1.5 hours
Most participants were aboriginal
The offender spoke first and explained what he did
Next the victims spoke, one by one explaining how they were affected
The offender to make a public apology
Meet with principal every morning 45 mins before class
Meet with arts teacher one day per week for one-on-one couselling
Assist the janitor for a week
signed copies given to offender, offenders father, and principal
Case Study
Residential History
The Canadian government believed it was responsible for caring and educating for the countries Aboriginal people
English education, Christianity & white customs practices would eventually abolish native culture
Some were very expressive in description
The offenders father spoke of his nervousness when the officer contacted him
The sister then spoke of her reaction to finding out about the incident
The Potential
Two important opportunities for police:
a) participate in a community-based approach to addressing crime
b) to shift from a reactive mode to a coactive one
general health of the community
concerns over community leaders and those who would take key roles
place certain individuals in positions of vulnerability
Indian children were bused to chuch-run & government-funded industrial boarding schools
They stayed there for 10 months
1931 approximately 130 residential schools
150,000 Aboriginal, Inuit & Metis were sent to these schools
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples initiated 1991
Canadian churches apologized
Archbishop Michael Peers apologized on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada 1993
2007, the federal government formalized a $1.9 billion compensation
Community Holistic Circle Healing
Community Holistic Circle Healing was initiated in 1986 by Hollow Water First Nation in Manitoba
Designed for community-based response to the high rates of sexual and family abuse
CHCH Process
In-Class Circle Sentencing Activity
Megan and Taylor are partners for a Community Policing project. Taylor told Megan that they would be making a prezi for their presentation. Megan strongly disagrees with prezi's and punched Taylor for continually forcing her to use prezi. Because of both Megan and Taylor's career choice, it was found that it would be best to have a conference to discuss the issue.
Megan Macleod, Logan Smith, & Taylor Crawford
Full transcript