MISSION & PURPOSE OF THE COMOX VALLEY COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTRE
- To promote, advance and implement the principles of restorative justice in the Comox Valley.
- To educate, engage and involve residents in activities and processes that seek non-violent solutions to criminal and other hurtful conduct.
- To develop safe, neutral and contextually sensitive environments and processes in which all parties to disputes can meet to:
- discuss the unacceptable behaviour and understand its real impacts on the individuals, their families and supporters, and the community as a whole;
- respond to the emotional, physical, financial and other needs experienced by those hurt;
- assist those causing the hurt to accept responsibility and accountability for their behaviour and to undertake those actions which may prevent a recurrence; and
- assist those involved to participate in healing themselves and the divisions between them.
- To promote, support and encourage harmonious living together throughout the Comox Valley.
ABOUT THE CJC
The CJC intentionally began by accepting a limited range of cases as it worked out the kinks that arise in any new group. The Centre began by accepting cases involving young people (under 18) who were “first offenders”, and only accepted cases involving low level property crimes. As the procedures and the volunteers acquired greater experience, increasingly higher levels of crime were accepted, adults were accepted, and a greater diversity of conflicts were accepted.
The CJC is run by a dedicated team of over 150 volunteers, doing everything from office administration, case co-ordination, and resolution conferencing through to public education, presentations, and other forms of conflict resolution. The CJC volunteers include:
- 7 case co-ordinators who ensure that each case proceeds quickly through each of the steps of the process, brief the Complainant and the Respondents before the resolution conference, and follow up on the implementation of the agreements reached during the resolution conferences;
- 7 administrative coordinators who process the paperwork, follow up on arrangements for the resolution conference and the opening and closing of case files;
- 42 panel members who participate in the resolution conferences representing the community and the harm caused that needs to be restored;
- 18 professionally trained facilitators who lead the resolution conference process;
- 31 representatives of community groups who allow participants in CJC resolution conferences to carry out community service work in their facilities;
- 11 directors on the board who set the governing policy of the organization;
- 126 members of the Signatories Group for the Critical Incident Response Protocol who collaborate with the CJC on education and response to issues of racism, homophobia and hate activity;
- 8 trained peacemakers who facilitate certain cases where the Peacemaking Circle approach is thought to be more appropriate than the Resolution Conference approach;
- 9 short-term Transformative Dialogue Facilitators who facilitate a dialogue-based process for certain cases involving racism, homophobic assaults, and other forms of hate crime; and
- 3 cross-cultural trainers who work to provide training in cross-cultural understanding, diversity awareness, and other solutions to inter-cultural conflict.
In the fall of 1995, Comox Valley delegates returning from the annual convention of Family Court and Youth Justices Committees of British Columbia, were very excited about the idea of Restorative Justice, which had been featured there. Meeting with others in the community who were aware of the developments in this field, a group was formed to explore the possibility of bringing RJ to the Valley.
By September of 1996, the group had carried out wide-ranging research and organised a meeting of professionals in the justice system to review the resources available in the Comox Valley for persons in conflict with the law.
By April of 1997, a proposal had been developed to outline the steps needed to establish a forum for applying restorative justice principles in the Comox Valley.
Throughout the summer of 1997, the group held further discussions with various community service agencies and programmes, and a sub-committee was formed in November 1997 to arrange a community conference on the possibility of establishing a community justice programme. Sixty organisations were invited, and fifty-two organizations and groups were represented at the conference.
As a result of the encouraging response from the conference, a steering committee of volunteers was established. The steering committee developed a process which would enable those who had been hurt by others to meet face to face with those who had caused the hurt in a safe, neutral environment within the community.
In July 1998 the Community Justice Centre of the Comox Valley Society was incorporated, an office was located, and the Society was registered under the Societies Act of British Columbia, and recognized as a charity under the Income Tax Act of Canada.
The Centre began officially operating on September 1, 1998 when it received its first case.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The CJC is served by a Board of eleven Directors who establish and develop its strategic directions and governing policies.
This year, the By-Laws have been amended to welcome the K’ómoks First Nation Chief and Council as a Partner, appointing one Director. Five additional Directors are appointed by our other partner groups (Village of Cumberland, Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, Electoral Areas A, B, & C of the Comox Valley Regional District, and the Comox Valley Detachment of the RCMP).
With the addition of KFN as a partner, the remaining Director positions were increased to seven. They are elected by the membership of the CJC at the AGM or appointed subsequently by the Board, and represent important professional skills needed by the Board (finance, legal) and significant constituencies of the broader community (schools, colleges, service clubs, social service agencies and organizations, ethnocultural and faith communities, etc.)
The elected Directors serve a non-renewable term of three years and two or three are elected each year. The table officers of the CJC are elected by the Board of Directors, following the AGM, but no officers may be from the appointed group of Directors.
2020-2021 Board of Directors
|President||Sheila McDonnell, Area A Trustee, and Chair of School District #71 (Comox Valley)|
|Vice-President||Hon. Timothy Ray, retired Superior Court Justice (Ontario)|
|Secretary||Rev. Ingrid Brown, M.Div, Minister, St. George’s United Church and Weird Church, Cumberland|
|Treasurer||David Kines, BBA, CPA, CGA, Robbins & Company|
Susan Barr, MPH, BSW, Adult Guardianship Specialist, Island Health
Edward Clarke, PhD, Retired Clinical Psychologist
Mackai Sharp, Social Activist, Film Producer
|Chief Administrator||Bruce Curtis|
VOLUNTEERING AT THE CJC
There are many opportunities to volunteer at the Community Justice Centre. Because our work is carried out on an entirely confidential basis and because many of our clients are quite vulnerable while they are with us, all volunteers begin with the application process that includes an application process that includes the submission of a resume with three references to your work history and your general character. If you have a recent Consent for Disclosure of Criminal Record Information (Criminal Record Check) which has been completed within the past five years, we would ask you to provide a copy of that form as well. If you do not have a current one, an opportunity to obtain this from the RCMP at no fee to yourself will be offered later in the application process. We must carry out these checks to ensure that we do not endanger anyone we serve nor those who serve the Centre as our valuable volunteers.
Click here to download the following forms:
- Volunteer Application form
- General Orientation Information
- CJC Background Check consent form
- Confidentiality Agreement
- Request for CRC with Vulnerable sector screening
- Volunteer Criminal Record Check Form Instructions
Once completed, these forms can be sent by mail, emailed to our Office Administrator, Wendy Lindsay, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may choose to drop off the forms at our reception desk at Suite C-2 450 8th Street, Courtenay. Wendy will contact you to discuss the next steps in your application to volunteer.
The COMMUNITY JUSTICE CENTRE is accepting applications for a part-time position as Office Administrator. This is an employment opportunity with a progressive community organization working to resolve conflict in our community and address hate, racism and homophobia. Click for more information.