Tumbler Ridge Restorative Justice Program

The Tumbler Ridge Restorative Justice Program is alive and well. Although it?s been awhile since the last Community Justice Forum, I just wanted to give you a quick update on the program in general.

For those of you who are unaware of what the program is, allow me to give you a little bit of background. The restorative justice program is a provincial initiative that is complementary to the criminal court system. The main objective of this program is early intervention in the lives of first-time offenders (whether youth or adults) and to hold these people accountable.

Study after study shows that swift consequences to poor behavior pays off big time. When an offense is committed and the person is held accountable within a period of week or two, the chances of the person re-offending are low. The Restorative Justice facilitators are provincially trained to facilitate a meeting between the offender and the victims. The offender hears how their actions have affected the victim, and then the offender does whatever they can to restore the victim to where they were before the crime. This restoration can be by way of an apology, physical labor, monetary compensation, or similar conditions.

Over the summer there been several complaints regarding noise and illegal activity coming from the local skateboard park. Most of the illegal activity centered around drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. While on patrol a group of youths were seen drinking on the bleachers. The youth were searched, and one of them had a backpack that contained alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and a small amount of marijuana. This youth participated in the restorative justice program, and now has several conditions to abide by. One of the conditions was to write a letter of apology to be published in the newspaper.

It is my intention to hold everyone accountable who breaks the law. Whether by way of a traffic ticket, a criminal charge, a verbal warning, by participation in a Community Justice Forum, or by a night in the drunk tank.

Soon, fall will be here and things will get back to ?normal.? If and when this happens, I?ll be sure to provide regular updates regarding this program and all other police-based programs.

Keep it between the ditches.

Cpl. Kurt Peats

An open letter to the citizens of Tumbler Ridge.

I am sorry to inform the community about my mishap. To me its just getting more people to become more sketched out with their kids when really there is no need, but if some younger kid might read this and just choose to not do any wrong then woohoo! I recently was busted down at the skatepark with backpack that had a bottle of whiskey and a purse with weed, parafinalia, and a bottle of whiskey. I had not touched any of it yet, I just happened to be in the wrong place with my back pack. I had to go to the cop station the next morning, got fined, kicked off the skate park, and got a court date. I also got the chance to volunteer for a restorative justice program. The program would allow me to get away with the ticket, not being allowed at the skate park, having to clean pot hill and I?m not allowed alcohol, but I get off with a clean slate and I won?t have a criminal record. Of course I?m going to do the restorative justice program. I am never buying another pipe, bullet, buster, pack of screens, cool container, or scissors. If you never have anything you can?t get caught. I?m already an adult, if you read this, learn from me and know that even if you don?t think your doing something wrong, and possibly than carrying something illegal, the cops can still check you. Trust me, I learnt my lesson. There are people around me who have been affected. I can?t say who and I can?t say how because the only things I can say about the people I love would give us all away and I?m anonymous. However I feel bad for my parents for having to go through this with me.

Signed, Anonymous