Alternative dispute resolution for young offenders
The needs of young people are constantly changing. Dropout, crime and even unemployment rates among teens have reached an alarming level. Many young people are leaving the school system, withdrawing from society and committing offences.
Since 1980, the Impact program’s main focus has been restorative justice and establishing alternative and informal means of conflict resolution. It encourages young offenders aged 12 to 17 to become aware of the damages they have caused to the community or to one of its members and to take responsibility for their actions. The program uses a collaborative approach that involves the society at large, the community, families, the judicial system, young offenders and victims to repair the harm that was done, rehabilitate the concerned individuals and reintegrate them into society.
Here are some of Impact’s actions with young offenders:
- community and compensatory work;
- donations to the community;
- reparations for the victim;
- personal reflections and letters of apology;
- awareness workshops on violence, theft and drug addiction;
- group meetings on conflict resolution, etc.
The program also offers community mediation training, particularly in schools, and workshops on crime and drug addiction prevention for various audiences.
While also reducing the amount of repeat offences, Impact helps hundreds of young people each year restore relationships with their community.
The Impact program is a member of the Regroupement des organismes de justice alternative du Québec (ROJAQ) and is offered by the West Island YMCA.
For any questions:
Phone: 514 630-9864, ext. 5203
“The program helps the young offender feel like he is part of the community. Meanwhile, the young offender helps the community by volunteering.”