Education and Community Programs
Aside from restorative justice processes that involve the community, RAMP also works within the community by providing educational presentations and programs about restorative justice practices and by maintaining community partnerships.
Kitchener School Community Project
Kitchener School Community Project
In 2000, RAMP formed a partnership with Kitchener School to work on a "Restorative Justice Pilot Project for the Purpose of Resolving Discipline Issues with Student". Initially, the school would contact RAMP when an altercation occurred in the school (usually this occurred prior to police involvement). A community justice forum (CJF) would be arranged for the families involved. A suspension from school was the standard result for any altercation at the school; however, after the CJF agreement, the youth(s) would be allowed to return to school.
The partnership expanded to include a RAMP community justice facilitator teaching peer mediation classes, anti-bullying, and anti-gang involvement tactics (which were done on a weekly basis for a three-hour period).
The Operation Lifesaver Educational Program focuses on promoting education about the dangers of trespassing on CNR (Canadian National Railroad) property. The program consists of participants viewing several short videos and reading material on railway safety with a discussion period to follow.
For more information on the Operation Lifesaver Education Program, contact RAMP.
The Stop-Lift Program was developed for referrals that deal with s. 334(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada and only when the charge is in connection with shoplifting. Specific cases of fraud, s. 380(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada , such as "price tag switching" are also referred to the Stop-Lift Program.
The program consists of the accused completing four community services prior to attendance at the Stop-Lift Educational Program. The Stop-Lift class is approximately four hours in length and is facilitated by a RAMP caseworker. The Stop-Lift class includes presentations from outside agency speakers and concludes with a talking circle where an Elder sits in with the group of participants. Lastly, a letter of experience is to be submitted to the RAMP office one week after the Stop-Lift class. This letter is forwarded to the store where the offence occurred.
For more information on the Stop-Lift Program, contact RAMP.
Advantages of Community Partnerships are:
1) Youth are provided community intervention
and support at critical times in their lives.
2) Youth are expected and encouraged to be accountable for their actions.
3) Victims needs and concerns are addressed.
4) Through the CJF process, underlying issues for undesirable behavior can be discussed and addressed.
5) Community Referrals to RAMP provide less involvement with the criminal justice system. This can mean less time away from school in order to deal with the formal court process.
6) There is less glamorization of "offending behavior" when it is taken off the "stage" or courtroom and put back into the community/family setting.
7) By utilizing a more neutral facilitator who is guiding the process, teachers and support staff are given the opportunity to voice their personal concerns.
8) Monitoring of agreements can be done by RAMP. The caseworker would follow up with referral letters to outside agencies. As well, the Case Management Coordinator would check on compliance with terms of the agreement.
9) RAMP can assist with resources for some terms of agreements such as restitution, counseling, and Elder consultations.