October 21, 2010 - The Minister of Justice Jackson Lafferty informed Members of the Legislative Assembly that the results of the Community Justice Review will be available later this fall.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform Members that results of the Community Justice Review will be available later this fall.
Our community justice program has been in place for about 15 years, and it is one of the most successful in the country. For the past several years, almost all of our communities have entered into partnerships with our department to deliver local justice programs. They are committed to find ways to address their local justice issues with responses and solutions that they develop on their own. It’s a healthy, sustainable volunteer system of alternative justice.
But not all of the committees are at the same level. Some are very successful. They keep kids and adults out of court, operate crime-prevention programs, and get the whole community involved. Others are just starting to explore options on the best ways to address local justice issues. We did this review because we wanted to find out what does and what doesn’t work. We want to do a better job of supporting all of our people and strengthening their role in prevention.
This review started in 2009. We did eight site visits and asked people all over the Northwest Territories for their ideas. What’s working? What’s not working? What could be strengthened with extra help? What do they see in other places that might work at home?
We heard that communities want consistent training and financial support to address their staffing issues. Some of our committees have constant turnover in their coordinators. That can make it tough to get and maintain a restorative justice program. They want standardized procedures and practices, so everyone’s doing the same thing. They want enhanced communications, so they can learn from each other. And they want more partnerships with the RCMP, local governments and agencies. We think we can help with these things.
Mr. Speaker, this is just the beginning. We are developing an action plan and will come to the Standing Committee on Social Programs with a proposal. We agree that we could do more through increasing connections with the RCMP and victim services. Community justice is a range of services, not just one thing. It supports local needs and it reflects local priorities. I look forward to discussing this with the Committee.
Masi Mr. Speaker.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Premier/Cabinet
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone: (867) 669-2302