The Beginning Of ICJS

Until the summer of 1999, Island Community Justice Society was known as Island Alternative Measures Society. Established in 1986 in response to the Young Offenders Act, the Society administered a community based diversion service for first time young offenders, as well as other programs directed at youth in conflict with the law. Our approach has always been restorative and focused on community support. Alternative Measures hearings held with first time offenders were confidential gatherings, using a victim offender mediation model. Trained volunteers participated in direct work with youth and families, and the small staff team was there to coordinate, supervise and support.

Our work since 1986 as a community-based, conflict resolution agency placed us in good stead for our new role in 1999 as a Community Justice Agency with wider partnerships with the justice system as part of the Restorative Justice program and also, in a great position when the Youth Criminal Justice Act rolled out April 1, 2003.

Our network of volunteers and community placements joined us in our transition to Island Community Justice Society, and in our commitment to deliver programs under this new mandate with the same energy and focus which brought us such success over the previous twelve years.

Community Involvement

The community plays a major role in Island Community Justice Society's justice services for youth in conflict with the law and ICJS is certainly appreciative of the value added through volunteer input. Across Cape Breton Island, there are four key roles for the community.

Board Of Directors

The Board of Directors is typically comprised of between 15 to 18 community minded individuals who offer their expertise from their particular field of experience, i.e. business, legal, education, health, faith, etc. The Board strives to ensure that a quality service is delivered using a community based approach. Click here if you are interested in joining the Board, or call (902)563-2596.

Our Board of Directors

Linda Parris

President



Nadine Bernard

Treasurer



Wayne Pendergast

Secretary



Ron Coole

First Vice-President



John Astephen

Second Vice-President



Joe Wall

Past President

 

Our Board Members

Debbi Tobin

Charles Sheppard

Al Affeck

Terry Shannon

Andie Currie

Cecelia Close

Earl Boutilier (Honorary Member)

Volunteer Team

In 2009, the Island Community Justice Society volunteer team numbered approximately 35 individuals who have a desire to support victims and redirect youth. Following successful completion of a screening and training process, volunteers are equipped to provide youth supervision, victim support, chair meetings to find placements for youth who need to complete community service work, co-facilitate youth educational workshops, and to facilitate conflict resolution processes. Click here to learn more about volunteering.

Community Placements

Non-profit, community agencies volunteer to supervise youth who have been ordered to complete community service work as part of a court order, or as part of a reparation agreement resulting from a restorative justice process. In 2008-09, more than 4,500 hours of community service work were completed by youth referred through our programs.

Island Community Justice Society recognizes the commitment required to take on this role, and appreciates that so many agencies have taken on the challenge. We have over 200 community placements on our resource list. These placements monitor the hours completed by the youth, liaise with the youth's volunteer, and most importantly, provide guidance and support to youth who have been in conflict with the law.

By allowing youth to work in their agencies, the community takes an active role in redirecting youth to a crime free lifestyle. Youth benefit greatly from this experience, learning valuable employment skills. Also, being part of a positive work opportunity where the supervisors treat them with respect for a job well done, helps many youth who struggle with low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness. On numerous occasions, youth have gone on to volunteer additional hours and in some cases have actually secured employment based on their work performance. Please contact us for more information.

Community Representatives

With the change to delivering Restorative Justice, a new volunteer role emerged - community representative. Community reps are individuals who are recruited to participate in a particular Restorative Justice session because they have something to offer to the process. Some examples of this - a session being held in a case where a personal business was vandalized - someone from a down town development association may be able to contribute information from the business perspective, supporting the victim, while at the same time sharing that more needs to be done by the town to engage youth in positive activities; an Addictions counsellor may be recruited to attend a session where the youth presents a history of drug abuse; an ATV club member may participate to provide information on proper off highway vehicle use; firefighter in an arson case, etc.

Community reps may participate on a one time only basis or can become part of a team who can be regularly called upon to add that wonderful community element to a Restorative Justice process, sometimes sharing expertise on a specific matter and other times just there to show community support for all parties during a difficult time. We currently have several teams of community reps designated for specific geographical areas across the Island.

Elise Campbell

 Coordinator of Volunteers
(902)563-2598
elisecampbell@eastlink.ca