Magazine article Herizons

Aboriginal Justice Uses Healing Approach

Magazine article Herizons

Aboriginal Justice Uses Healing Approach

Article excerpt

Aboriginal Justice Uses Healing Approach

(WINNIPEG) The word `diversion' describes the rerouting of a waterway. At Aboriginal Ganootamaage Justice Services of Winnipeg, the analogy couldn't be more appropriate.

"Think of our program as a river," says Ganootamaage Executive Director Kathy Mallett, "at the junction, the river diverts into two. When a person comes here, he or she makes the decision to do healing time or jail time."

The other way the three-year pilot project is described is a form of alternative justice. Instead of going to jail, offenders (called broken-spirited relations) begin a holistic healing process, in participation with one of three restorative justice models: Community Council Forums involve community people in the circle; Community Justice Forums involve both victim and broken spirited relation, with their supporters and family members; Sentencing Circles are for the most serious offences, and a judge and crown representative, as well as broken-spirited relations, families and Aboriginal community representatives are part of the circle.

Mallett, who participates in almost all of the circles, says that a healing plan is developed after the circle with the program's coordinator and elder. The program provides a culturally appropriate environment. Elders are involved in all aspects of programming and provide input on spirituality and cultural matters. Integration with immediate and extended family is also part of the program. The overall aim is to reduce the rate of incarceration and recidivism, although it is too soon to measure the program's success. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.