Our core services involve a court diversion program on referrals from the OPP, the Town of Smiths Falls police and from the Crown Attorney’s office for both youth and adult offenders. The Ministry of the Attorney General assists with some funding for offenders aged 12 to 17 years of age. We are also pleased to be a United Way Lanark County partner and are grateful for their ongoing support. The balance of our costs is covered by fundraising, donations, grants and sponsorships each year.
LCCJP has been providing court diversion services for 15 years in Lanark County and the Town of Smiths Falls. Our office is located in Perth, ON. We have 40 fully-trained volunteers who conduct the community justice forum process for youth and adults. Our recidivism rate is less than 5% compared to the recidivism rate for similar cases through the criminal system of about 30%.
Typical cases that we handle include the following (among others):
LCCJP is now able to share our expertise by training other community groups in the use of restorative approaches to resolve issues. For example, we have provided training to the peer advocates at The Table Community Food Centre in the use of restorative approaches when they are working with clients with landlord and tenant issues. Other community groups and agencies have expressed an interest in pursuing this path as well. If you are interested in knowing more about our training services, contact Beth Peterkin at email@example.com to discuss your needs.
School and Youth Centre Initiative:
LCCJP has been fortunate to receive significant grant funding to allow us to implement a School Outreach Program over a three-year period, beginning in 2016. Funding contributions toward this initiative have been received from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Law Foundation of Ontario and United Way Lanark County. In addition, there are a number of smaller contributions that have been received from community groups, service clubs and local agencies.
The goal of the initiative is to send trained volunteers into each school and youth centre throughout Lanark County and the Town of Smiths Falls on a regular basis and to work with school administrators, teachers, youth, parents and youth workers to promote the use of restorative approaches. We can provide mentoring to those who are already using a restorative approach and introduce the restorative concept to those who are not already involved. The deliverable expected by our funders is that we will reach or have an impact on all 13,120 youth in our service area over the next 3 years – a lofty target! For more information about how you can be involved as a volunteer or Team Leader for this initiative, or how your school or youth centre can benefit from these services, contact Andrew Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the BE STRONG info flyer here:
LCCJP has a corps of volunteers ready to attend your meeting or event with a speaking engagement about our work and the use of restorative approaches in the community. We have been hosted by service clubs, community groups, church groups, other agencies and schools and welcome your invitation. We can bring a PowerPoint presentation or handouts for your attendees and can tailor the presentation to your needs. Presentations can range from 10 minutes to half an hour and we will discuss your expectations with you in advance. There is no cost for these presentations; however donations are always welcome. To make arrangements for a speaker, contact Sarah Bingham at email@example.com
Partnering with Other Restorative Sites:
We are pleased to partner with other agencies that are working in the area of restorative practices and conducting community justice forums. The Ministry of the Attorney General has a network of Youth Justice Committee (YJC) sites across Ontario. There are many other collaborative justice, justice circle and similar organizations working towards many of the same goals as LCCJP. In particular we have connected with the Justice Circles program at the First Nations Technical Institute in Tyendinaga as well as with the Ottawa Restorative Justice Network. We are always looking for “best practices” from other organizations as well as sharing learnings from our work. As we build our initiative aimed at our schools and youth centres, we are finding many more restorative partners with whom we can connect.
Our Vision and Mission statements speak to embracing and promoting the use of restorative practices throughout the community and as such, we make a special effort each year to engage keynote speakers at one or more of our events. In 2015 we welcomed Jake MacIsaac from Dalhousie University to speak about the work he has done at the university, and specifically about the issue involving students at the School of Dentistry. The previous year, it was our honor to have Kimberly Moore, Crown Attorney, speak at our Annual General Meeting. Another prominent speaker we have engaged in the past is Katy Hutchison who brought the story of her own grass-roots quest for restorative justice. These events are always open to everyone and we encourage members of the public to attend. Watch this website for our Events Listing or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for our electronic newsletter.