Interpretation of the Youth Criminal Justice Act 2003:
The Youth Criminal Justice Act, passed in 2003, declares as intended principles to: prevent crime by addressing the circumstances underlying a young person's offending behaviour, rehabilitate young persons who commit offences and reintegrate them into society and ensure that a young person is subject to meaningful consequences for his or her offence. These principles are in keeping with the core concepts of restorative justice.
Here is a quote from a Hamilton Police officer:
“Took part in "circle time" at the Gateway suspension / expulsion program Crestwood site…, several social workers and educators as well as 2 students. Both of the students involved expressed great gratitude in us attending and being as open as we were. Both of the students advised that they felt that major barriers between themselves and police had been broken down during the course of the 3 hour exercise. They advised that they now see us as people rather than a "uniform". It was a very powerful session and I know I came out of it feeling like I had accomplished something major. I will remember this day for the rest of my career.”
The Recreation Department, City of Hamilton is a new partner this year. Last June 80 summer supervisors received training prior to the parks opening. The plan is to widen the training to all recreation centers as well as adding the training to the adult programs.
The Hamilton Wentworth Catholic School Board joined our partnership this past April. Training has begun with staff from 5 schools. A full rollout to all schools is taking place this Fall with the expectation that training will be completed within 16 months. This Board firmly believes that the principles of Restorative Justice fall perfectly in line with the values of Catholic teaching.