October 01, 2013 - 9:51 AM
VERNON - The Restorative Justice Society is looking to expand its services in the North Okanagan by hosting its first fundraising event.
President Warren Smith says demand is growing as police begin to depend on the program. Restorative justice is a community approach to dealing with crime, where victims and offenders are brought together to discuss what can be done to repair the harm.
Those directly involved in the incident—parents, friends, coworkers—meet face to face with the offender. It’s emotional, it’s challenging, and it works. Smith says they’ve handled about 30 cases this past year and seen extremely positive results. One victim even hired the offender at the end of the process.
“The program really gives a voice to the person who has been harmed, the victim,” Smith says.
“Some individuals just want a simple apology.”
The results can be life changing, and not just for those immediately affected. While there have been 30 cases this year, Smith says some 300 people could be impacted as the results ripple out.
To meet the need for restorative justice in the community, Smith says the society needs a strong financial base. The Creative Justice Gala on Oct. 18 at the Best Western Lodge will help to fill that hole.
At $39 a seat, the event features dinner, live music, and an art auction. Sixteen artists will be working on site creating unique artworks for the cause.
Tickets are available at the Community Policing Office on 32nd Ave., or by calling (250)550-7846.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013