Family Violence Initiative

COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS

ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES

Healing and Reintegration of Offenders

Program name:

Elsipogtog Restorative Justice Program

Organization:

Elsipogtog Health & Wellness Centre

Location:

Elsipogtog, New Brunswick

Target Group:

Band members ages 12 and over.

Contact Name:

Tammy Augustine

Phone:

506-523-4747

Email:

justice@ehwc.ca

Website:

N/A

Program Overview
History:

The establishment of the Restorative Justice Program, healing circles occurred in 2000. In 2002 the Victims Assistance Program was established with a part-time Victim Services Coordinator. The program's first sentencing circle was implemented in 2010. There has been the addition of many restorative justice programs and projects. There is a planned Healing to Wellness Court to address drug and alcohol addictions issues. It will be operational within the next few months.

Program Description
Goals & Objectives:

To obtain change that creates a safer community, facilitating all affected community members' participation.

Traditional/Indigenous ways:

Sentences often have a combination of both community-based solutions and jail time. Jail time is not often recommended. When it is a community-based solution, Elders are often involved in both the sentencing decisions and following through on the sentences – both male and female Elders. Various traditional ceremonies such as sweat lodges are used when appropriate. An Elder is often involved to teach the offender traditional ways. The Victim Services Coordinator has traditional healing experience and background.

Components of program:

The program seeks to reconcile victims and offenders through the use of traditional sentencing circles. The offender must be prepared to hear from the victim(s), their families or supporters which can include negative things as part of the process. The victim of the violence can choose whether or not to have the crime dealt with through restorative justice approaches. Her experience and wishes for addressing the impact of the crime are heard. She must agree before a sentencing circle process can begin and be willing to attend or have her victim impact statement shared with the circle. She must agree to the proposed sentence. The goal is for her to find safety in her community with support and the changes undertaken by the offender as part of the sentencing circle's decision.

Services/How they work:

Services are provided on site at the facility.

Funding:

Funding is provided by the Department of Justice Canada.

Relationships and Stakeholders
Involvement of Target Groups:

Throughout the process, various members of the Elsipogtog community are involved. The victim, the Victim Services Coordinator, the offender, Elders and other relevant community members are involved. In following through on sentences that are based in the community other reserve members will assist in the process – i.e., a person in recovery can help an Elder support a person dealing with their addiction.

Partners:

Many Justice Services Committees based on working with the criminal justice system as related to effecting positive change in the Elsipogtog community.

Other relationships:

Other agencies as relevant.

Details of Program Evaluation
Evaluation:

An evaluation has been completed.

Highlights of Evaluation Findings:

The report was not made available publicly, and no specific results can be provided.

Program Outcomes
Measures of Success:

Success is measured by the program's ability to identify ways that assist the community to deal with their problems by moving together to create a healthier, safer community, assisting those involved to take responsibility for their actions.

Achievements:

Having found ways to meet the community's needs to create culturally appropriate services.

Challenges:

Established policies and procedures of the province can slow down client session negotiations.

Things to Know to Replicate
Replication Advice:

the program is considered replicable. Potential program designers must involve the community and allow opportunity for their input to effect program design and implementation.

Resources:

Sufficient funding and staffing would need to be achieved to ensure program success.

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