Our core services involve a court diversion program with referrals from Lanark County OPP, the Town of Smiths Falls Police, and from the Crown Attorney’s office for both youth and adult offenders. The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services provides some funding for offenders aged 12 to 17 years of age. LCCJ has been providing court diversion services for more than 20 years. Our office is located in Perth, ON. We have 30 fully-trained volunteer facilitators who conduct the community justice forum process for youth and adults with the assistance of our program coordinator. Our recidivism rate is less than 5-7% compared to the recidivism rate for similar cases through the criminal system of about 30%. For more information about the court diversion program, contact our Community Justice Program Coordinator, Sheri Halladay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Typical cases include the following (among others):
Distribution of Illicit Images
Taking a Motor Vehicle Without Consent
Dangerous Weapon (BB Gun, etc.)
Break and Enter
Possession of Stolen Goods
Possession of a controlled substance
All of our staff and volunteer facilitators are trained in Trauma-Informed Care and creating safer spaces, as well as a host of other professional development trainings including victimology, mental health, addictions and more.
Restorative Justice Court Diversion has many benefits:
Victims will benefit by:
having a greater voice in the criminal justice process and in determining the outcome of how the harm will be repaired.
telling their story and the impact the accused actions had on their lives in a safe respectful space.
having a choice to participate in a restorative justice process.
directly contributing to determining how the harm will be repaired with agreed upon sanctions and legally binding agreement such as: monetary compensation for damages, counseling for the accused, verbal apology, written apology, community service hours, participation in a partner assault response program, other sanctions as determined by the participants in the restorative justice forum.
receiving financial compensation.
not being re-victimized by the adversarial criminal justice process.
receiving appropriate supports and resources throughout the restorative justice process.
having an opportunity for reconciliation and forgiveness, by transforming some relationships.
getting their questions and concerns addressed by the accused, and learn more about what happened, which can lead to reduced traumatization.
having their support persons participate in the restorative justice process and contribute to the agreed upon sanctions.
the possibility of the victims partner/accused not having a criminal record and thus, the offender is more likely to be able to work and contribute to child support or alimony.
The Community will benefit by:
a healthier community where its residents are in right relationships with each other.
repairing broken relationships
The Offender will benefit by:
being given the opportunity to be held accountable for their actions in a safe and supportive space where solutions about how to repair the harm will be sought.
the charges being withdrawn or stayed.
not having a criminal record and thus, no future impact on employment and ability to support themselves or their family.
not being labelled and stigmatized as a criminal.
a greater understanding of the harm they have caused.
taking steps to repair the harm by following through on the sanctions decided upon by the participants.
repairing relationships with victims and/or the community in some situations
obtaining reconciliation and forgiveness
receiving information and referrals to support services that may prevent future harm
The Justice System will benefit by:
cases not being dropped because of uncooperative victims or weak cases.
reducing the justice system caseload.
reduce the number of calls to police and charges laid.
not revictimizing the victims in court.
reducing the recidivism because appropriate supports have been put in place.
a victim centred response to these types of cases.
protecting the community from further harm by reducing recidivism rates.