The Fraser Region Community Justice Initiatives Association has received $40,000 towards the development of victim-sensitive protocols for the practice of restorative community justice. The project will develop a series of recommendations through province-wide consultation with the aim of increasing victim satisfaction with the criminal justice system.
â€œThe generous support of the provincial government will set in motion a process that will contribute directly to the experience of those impacted by crime,â€ said training and education coordinator Aaron Lyons. â€œThe aim of this project is to move toward a set of agreed-upon guidelines that restorative justice providers in BC can draw upon when working with crime victims and other participants. This will ultimately increase the consistency with which victims receive excellent quality service and support.â€
â€œMore than the mere act of breaking the law, crime represents the violation of people and the disruption of communities,â€ said Langley MLA Mary Polak. â€œRestorative justice is a powerful tool to reduce harm. Itâ€™s very fitting to have the proceeds of crime repurposed in such a meaningful way.â€
Two other Langley organizations have also received civil forfeiture funding: Langley School District #35 has received $20,000 to address cyberbullying and self/peer exploitation, and the Ishtar Transition Housing Society has received $6,200 for technology training to enhance womenâ€™s safety.
This year, the priority focus for civil forfeiture grants is on initiatives that address violence against women, and support the Violence Free BC strategy. Other areas where funding was made available included serving victims through restorative justice, community and youth crime prevention, and police education, training and specialized crime prevention equipment.
Since the civil forfeiture program became active, it has returned more than $16 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention grants and victim compensation payments in B.C.
Violence Free BC is the provincial governmentâ€™s long-term strategy and commitment to end violence against women. Acting as a roadmap, Violence Free BC combines immediate actions with a long-term vision to end the violence, and to support women whose lives and well-being have been impacted by violence. sIn future years, a portion of civil forfeiture funds will be dedicated to support the Violence Free BC strategy.