Through Lanark County Community Justice Program, we facilitated a forum involving 2 male youths. The offender was charged with publication of an intimate video and making harassing phone calls against the complainant. The complainant had chosen not to participate in the forum but did state that he wanted the incident to be put behind him and that he did not want anything bad to happen to the offender because at one time they had been very good friends.
The offender and his mother were eager to participate in the community justice forum. At the pre-forum interview we were impressed by the young man’s integrity, his understanding of the severity of what he had done and his willingness to take responsibility for his part in what had become a difficult incident for the police.
The police officer handling the case attended the forum and played a large role. She expressed that she found the video very disturbing. The officer helped the offender to understand how the impulsive decision he made could have altered his life greatly. The offender was very remorseful and appreciated that he had been given a wonderful opportunity to have his case go through the Lanark County Community Justice Program instead of through the criminal system. He was eager to help in any way and voluntarily asked if he could write a letter of apology to the complainant.
We were all so impressed with the young man’s sincerity that the officer asked if he would be willing to talk to students in schools about cyber bullying with the Community Service Officer. He agreed immediately with interest and enthusiasm. The young man’s mother, who had suffered greatly through the incident, found huge relief and reassurance in seeing and hearing this from her son. It really was a fantastic outcome, thanks to Lanark County Community Justice Program.
From 2 Facilitators of Lanark County Community Justice Program