Police in Wood Buffalo have begun a new method of resolving disputes that address the harm caused by crime or conflict that promotes meaningful resolutions.
Restorative justice is a method used to allow those involved in a crime or conflict to avoid legal proceedings.
Individuals causing the harm or conflict will meet with a restorative justice facilitator and discuss methods alternative to court.
During an interview with Mix News, Wood Buffalo RCMP superintendent Mark Hancock stated that they have 14 facilitators trained in the Fort McMurray area.
“We just had a presentation to all our watch members so that they can do pre-charge referrals so they can refer to these cases before a charge is laid and go a different route and not to court,” Hancock explained. “I’m a facilitator myself, I love it. It gives some people an opportunity to maybe not have a criminal record, but to deal with things.”
He commented that the person who committed the harm will still have to face the person that was victimized and both parties will come up with a contract as to how to right the wrong.
“For some cases, this is really a great thing and we’re really pushing this now,” Hancock said.
Wood Buffalo RCMP is currently working to get facilitators trained in Fort Chipewyan.