by Morinville News Staff

The Government of Alberta is offering eligible non-profit organizations, First Nations, and community groups $360,000 in grants to support restorative justice programs.

The program, announced Nov. 21, will provide up to $50,000 annually to organizations that practice, promote or develop restorative justice initiatives in the province. Grants are available for organizations seeking to start a restorative justice initiative as well as for groups with existing programs.

The government says the programs are an alternative or supplement to any sentence. With the consent of both the victim and the offender, these programs can be initiated at any time during the criminal justice process.

“Restorative justice initiatives ensure that victims and communities have a voice,” said Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, in a release Monday morning. “They also allow offenders to gain an understanding of the harm their actions have caused. Supporting the innovative work done by groups that offer restorative justice programs helps to make our communities safer and more resilient.”

Jan Moran, Treasurer of the Alberta Restorative Justice Association was pleased with the grant announcement.

“By supporting these programs through the grant, the government encourages communities to strive to find ways to resolve the consequences of crime and make their communities safe,” she said.

John Howard Society of Alberta Executive Director Chris Hay said funding his organization has received for restorative justice not only helps victims of crime, but it also helps offenders by holding them accountable for their actions.

“We are pleased to have received funding from the Alberta government for restorative justice initiatives that truly create safer communities over the long term,” Hay said.

For more information and access to the grant application, visit https://www.solgps.alberta.ca/safe_communities/crime_prevention/Pages/ACRJ-grants.aspx.

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