Sunday, July 10, 2016

Justice program considered

by Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star posted Jul 10, 2016 at 1:00 AM
Rural officials are interested in supporting an alternative justice program, but on their terms. The Electoral Area Advisory Committee will investigate the feasibility of the five areas creating a function that funds the Restorative Justice Society but it won’t join a proposed service established by the Regional District of North Okanagan. “We’re not interested in a broader service where Vernon is a dominant partner,” said Bob Fleming, EAAC chairperson. “We would have control over the funding.” Through restorative justice, people who have committed an offence meet with the victim to talk about what happened and what can be done to correct the situation. If possible, it is a way for the offender to remain out of jail and turn their life around. Presently, funding for the Restorative Justice Society comes from the City of Vernon ($44,858) and the provincial government. Some grants come from other local jurisdictions on an annual basis. In 2014, 73 per cent of the incidents handled by the society came from Vernon, 14 per cent were from Lumby, five per cent were from Armstrong and nine per cent were from elsewhere in the region. According to the Restorative Justice Society, while a crime may have been committed in Vernon, the person involved may be from another community in the North Okanagan. Director Mike Macnabb isn’t sure if the rural areas should be funding the program. “I haven’t got my head around this,” he said, adding that justice and courts are a provincial mandate. “The better thing may be to lobby the provincial government to provide more funding. We have a downloading issue.”
Same Issue from 2013.

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