Support sought for restorative justice

The City of Enderby believes restorative justice should be funded provincially

The City of Enderby believes restorative justice should be funded provincially.

Council unanimously agreed with a staff recommendation to support a City of Vernon resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBC) requesting that the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General provide operational funds for restorative justice services and programs.

The city does not support the establishment of a restorative justice service at the Regional District of North Okanagan until protocols have been established for funding restorative justice service organizations, and provincial commitments are implemented.

“We’re following the lead of Vernon,” said Enderby Mayor Greg McCune. “We believe this is a provincial issue.”

The Restorative Justice Society – North Okanagan has made a request to become a function under RDNO.

Restorative  justice offers services to both the victims and offenders of crime. It is a potentially helpful way to repair harm to victims and increase awareness among offenders about the harm they have caused.

Enderby chief administrative officer Tate Bengston told council in a report the restorative justice program “may be a cost-effective alternative to the conventional justice system, which is a provincial responsibility.”

Council was also informed that the Splatsin band is no longer using the services of the Restorative Justice Society – North Okanagan. It has, instead, implemented restorative justice through the Secwepemc Community Justice Program in Kamloops.

The City of Armstrong has also supported the City of Vernon resolution, Township of Spallumcheen and Village of Lumby have supported in principle the RDNO’s request to form a funding service though both want to see what the funding formula would be, and the District of Coldstream wants more information before it can decide if it would join a restorative justice service established by RDNO.