Focusing on youth is important to maintaining a safe and productive community for the future and the Ponoka Youth Centre’s Youth Justice Committee is working toward that goal.
The Youth Justice Committee consists of a group of trained volunteers who work in partnership with local RCMP and the office of the Alberta Solicitor General Correctional Servicces to deal with youth in the community.
The committee allows citizens to work out problems and differences between youth, victims and members of the community while simultaneously outlining and shaping community norms and expectations and providing support.
Beth Reitz, executive director of PYC is pleased to have this service in the community as it gives a different solution to youth issues.
“The Youth Justice Committee provides first time young offenders with an alternative to the formal court process and a possible criminal record by resolving legal conflicts through alternative measures, community service work and meeting with victims and community members,” said Reitz.
The youth centre is in its second year of running this program and Reitz believes that it is successful in its efforts and makes a difference in the community.
“Through our regular interactions with youth through the Ponoka Youth Centre programs and building relationships on many levels, we have found our involvement with this committee to be very beneficial for the youth, as well as the community at large,” she said.
Currently, in Alberta, there are 123 youth justice committees located throughout the province and over 1,500 Albertans volunteer on the committee.
The PYC Youth Justice Committee is currently in need of male volunteers and anyone wishing to become involved or for more information can contact the PYC at 403-783-3112.