The Community Justice Society offers extensive programming options to clients within HRM in a safe, respectful and empowering atmosphere. The Society has adapted the Restorative Justice Principles. This value-based approach is designed to respond to wrongdoing and conflict. It has a balanced focus that includes the person harmed, the person causing the harm, and the affected community. This approach is often carried out in a "talking circle" format. Many of the programming elements are offered in partnership with similar community-based organizations who are interested in the welfare of our youth within HRM. These programs are meant to support, assist and educate individuals about the value of their community in which they reside.
Stoplift is a program for youth who have been referred to the Community Justice Society as a result of shoplifting. Youth are referred at a pre-charge level, or after being charged with Theft or Possession under $5000 of the Criminal Code of Canada. (Section CC 334.b, CC355.b)
Youth in the Stoplift program attend an intake meeting and later participate in an educational session that explores the economic and personal costs of retail theft. Youth are led to assess the impact of their actions on families, retailers, store employees, consumers and themselves.
Participants are also educated in the criminal justice system and the consequences of being in conflict with the law.
PARTY (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth)
PARTY is a program for youth who have been referred to the Community Justice Society as a result of drug and alcohol offences. Youth are referred at a pre-charge or post-charge level. This program is co-facilitated with the Department of Health and Promotion.
Youth in the PARTY program attend an intake meeting and later participate in an educational session based on reducing risk and lessening the harm caused by adolescent drug and alcohol use. Participants are educated on the serious consequences of their actions with the aide of a situational DVD with testimonials by individuals that have been harmed by preventable “accidents”.
At the conclusion of the session, youth may be required to attend further counseling through the CHOICES program. Individual contracts outline the terms for each participant.
Graffiti Education Program:
Graffiti Education is a program for youth who have been referred to the Community Justice Society as a result of graffiti charges. Youth are referred at a pre-charge or post-charge level. (Section CC430.4, Mischief under the Criminal Code of Canada)
Youth first meet for an intake and are then referred on to complete an educational accountability program. Appropriate youth may be referred on to complete post session follow up work including an art project based on positive forms of artistic expression.
Rites of Passage Program:
The Rites of Passage Program empowers youth with African/Black Nova Scotian history. The program provides support towards positive self-esteem and cultural awareness through various activities such as creative interactive games, music, field trips and so much more.
The Rites of Passage Program is a family orientated program aimed towards creating a safer community, building and maintaining community relations through an Africentric Philosophy based on the 7 Kwanzaa Principles: Nia (purpose), Umoja (Unity), Ujima (collective work and responsibility), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Imani (faith), Kuumba (creativity), Ujamaa (cooperative economics). These principles help people of African Descent work together, respect and promote each other to celebrate our collective history, identity and challenges.
ROYC Pilot Program:
The Restorative Options for Youth in Care Program (ROYC) was developed to improve the delivery of the restorative justice to youth in residential care facilities.
The ROYC progam offers an opportunity for the restorative justice program to adapt to the specific needs of youth in care. It is important to understand that youth in care were falling through the cracks and not getting the full range of options available under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The special attention for youth in care will be achieved through collaboration with our partners to correct the situation.
Community Conferencing Pilot Project:
Last year, Community Justice Society established the Community Conferencing Pilot Project in Mulgrave Park with a view to establishing the project in East Preston this year. In Mulgrave Park, the project has established an advisory committee of stakeholders to address the issue of conflict between indigenous African Nova Scotians and newcomers from Africa. The Society is curently working towards mobilization of the community on the issure and working on test cases. Work on the Community Conferencing Pilot Project continues under the maangement of CJS restorative practices consultant Gola Tarashi.
CJS community project coordinators were pleased to attend a press conference held at the Black Cultural Centre with the Department of Justice Minister for the province of Nova Scotia, who announced the awarding of the Lighthouses grant to Community Jusstice Society. This grant will enhance program activities for African Nova Scotian youth in East Preston with the introduction of multimedia training and opportunities for self-expression and recording their own experiences.
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