The Government of the Northwest Territories manages its Community Justice Program in partnership with the Aboriginal Justice Strategy. The program works directly and indirectly with local justice committees across the Territories to develop and deliver a variety of diversion and restorative justice activities.
Diversion supports and encourages the community to deal with criminal matters from a holistic perspective. The diversion process within a community reflects the local values, traditions, and language. Within the Northwest Territories, the diversion of criminal matters from the criminal court system to the local community justice committee is an important component of the Restorative Justice Program.
Restorative justice is a collaborative and inclusive process which involves working with the offenders, the victims, their families, and their communities to address crime. Local justice committees, made up of volunteers who are interested in justice issues, are the cornerstone of the restorative justice approach. The committees help youth and adult offenders take responsibility for their actions, making the community a safer place to live. Some additional services provided by the local justice committees include inmate support services, healing circles, attention to local community issues, and career development.
In all of their work, the committees draw on their unique capacity, knowledge and strength to create a restorative justice system relevant to their own community. Although each community may provide restorative justice services in a different way, their vision is the same: to provide a holistic restorative justice model which holds individuals accountable for their behaviour and repairs the harm to the victim and community by utilizing the strengths, traditions, language and culture that reflects their community.
The success of community and restorative justice also relies on close collaboration among all parties involved, which is why non-governmental organizations, the RCMP, and the local, territorial, federal and Aboriginal governments all provide their support and expertise.
Through the Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the Government of Canada will provide the Northwest Territories Community Justice Program with $631,204; $315,602 in fiscal year 2014-15 and $315, 602 in fiscal year 2015-16.
Department of Justice Canada