OUR VIEW: Surrey’s Restorative Justice Program makes most of volunteers

Surrey RCMP’s Restorative Justice Program, fuelled by volunteers, is reporting some fine results.

Restorative Justice Program Co-ordinator Jana Stocker with volunteers Louise Sallai and James Russell.

Surrey RCMP’s Restorative Justice Program, fuelled by volunteers, is reporting some fine results.

It’s a voluntary program that has worked with more than 1,000 criminal offenders since it began in 2008 and is reporting low recidivism rates as a result.

According to the RCMP, of those offenders who have successfully completed the program, only five per cent were charged with a criminal offence in the year after their case was dealt with.

What the program does is help teenagers and young adults who’ve run afoul of the law gain some insight into the harm their offences have caused, by having them meet their victims and focus on how to set things right again, outside of the formal justice system.

The Surrey RCMP are tipping their stetsons to the detachment’s 14 Restorative Justice Program volunteers, and other Surrey RCMP volunteers, during National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 10 to 16.

As they tip their stetsons to these fine volunteers, we at the Now also tip our notebooks to them.

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