Organizations that practise, promote or develop initiatives that focus on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community can now apply for funding through the Alberta Community Restorative Justice Grant program.
The province is nearly doubling the money available as part of its five-point plan to strengthen support for victims of crime across Alberta. A total of $700,000 is being provided, an increase of $340,000 since the previous grant cycle.
“Restorative justice programs hold offenders accountable for their actions, while allowing victims and communities to feel they have a voice in the process. More grants for these programs mean that more victims can choose this option if they feel it is the right fit for them.”
The money comes from the Victims of Crime Fund and organizations are eligible to apply for a maximum of $50,000 per initiative.
Organizations eligible for the restorative justice grant program include:
- Incorporated non-profit and volunteer organizations.
- Incorporated community-based coalitions and networks.
- Aboriginal communities, including bands and tribal councils.
- Provincially sanctioned youth justice committees (for work that is not covered by their core funding).
Restorative justice is a resolution-based approach that focuses on the needs of those affected by crime. Restorative justice programs seek to hold offenders responsible for their actions, while addressing the causes of crime and its effects upon victims and the community. The programs are an alternative or supplement to any sentence, and can be initiated by agreement from the victim and offender at any time during the criminal justice process.
Past grants have helped fund victim-offender conferencing, restorative circle processes, training for service providers and Indigenous restorative justice programs across the province.
Information and application forms are available on the Alberta government’s restorative justice website or through its Crime Prevention and Restorative Justice Unit at 780-415-1819. To call toll-free in Alberta, first dial 310-0000. The deadline for applications is noon on Dec. 13, 2018.