Justice and Public Safety
March 11, 2019

New Program Offers Alternative Measures to Court Process

Using the principles of restorative justice, the Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General, today announced a program that will give offenders alternative means to the traditional court process.

The goal of the adult diversion program is to provide an effective and timely response to the offender’s behavior, encourage offenders to acknowledge and repair harm caused to the victim, and provide an opportunity for the victim to participate in the process.

Similar programs have seen great success in other jurisdictions. In this province, the program will be piloted on the west coast in areas serviced by the Provincial Court in Stephenville and Corner Brook. Alternative measures could include counselling, a letter of apology, community service or even a charitable donation.

To qualify, offenders must accept responsibility for the act in which they are charged and their offence must not relate to cases of bodily harm, intimate partner violence, sexual offences, impaired driving, offences with child victims, or those with mandatory minimum sentences. The alternative measures program is a post-charge diversion program and is not a substitute for any police decision.

Quote
“This pilot program shows what can be accomplished by working together and is a direct result of recommendations from justice summits held around the province since 2017 that included representatives from all aspects of the criminal justice system. As a government, we have been working to find ways of addressing high levels of incarceration at its source. Giving offenders an option to divert from the traditional court process will help reduce their risk of reoffending.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety and Attorney General

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Media contact
Lesley Clarke
Justice and Public Safety
709-729-6985, 699-2910
LesleyClarke@gov.nl.ca

2019 03 11                              11:05 a.m.