The North Peace Justice Society held its AGM last week, and is looking for more volunteer facilitators.
Executive Director Nicole Amstutz-Lisk also stepped down after a year in role, with Wendy Maldonado taking the reins.
Maldonado says the society needs new facilitators, with the goal of handling more files from the RCMP, as the Indigenous Policing Service has expressed interest in working with the society.
“In order to do that, we need more facilitators to speed up the process. We don’t have many right now, in such a small town the conflict of interest is really high. Everyone overlaps, so it’s been slow,” said Maldonado.
The restorative justice program is a holistic approach, with the goal of repairing harm in the community, bringing offenders and victims together to work out a mutual solution.
Cases can be referred to the program by RCMP, the courts, or by individuals. The society handled 18 RCMP files last year.
Facilitator training will be ongoing this summer using online methods, while in-person sessions will wait until the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really want to increase the community awareness and involvement. Restorative justice is out there, the society is out there, but not many people know what we do,” said Maldonado, noting there’s an opportunity to bring the training to Northern Lights College.
Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News