COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Alternatives to Gangs
- Program name:
Breaking the Cycle of Violence
The RCMP's Gang Awareness Unit
- Target Group:
- Contact Name:
Sgt. Rob Lockhart, RCMP Gang Awareness Unit
The program was initiated in January 2011 following discussions amongst the stakeholders. Changes were made only during the developmental process of establishing the program.
- Goals & Objectives:
To reduce violent victimization with particular emphasis on family violence and preventing or curtailing gang involvement through the establishment of community based awareness, education and training initiatives.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
The sharing circle is used at meetings and workshops; there are two Aboriginal Elders on the Garden Hill Justice Committee. The program is made up of four women and one man from Garden Hill. The Aboriginal Elder is currently involved in the education component and regularly makes presentations at the local school and in the workshops.
- Components of program:
The program is prevention focused; however it is also intent on developing more accountability among male offenders. The initiative is focused on prevention awareness by placing ads and information on posters, on local TV, at the schools. The education component continues to evolve and work is being done to incorporate this information into the curriculum at the schools. Community workshops have been held for the service providers and involve Aboriginal Elders, law enforcement, Probation, Health Services and Addictions Service representatives.
- Services/How they work:
Services are provided throughout the community.
Funding is provided by the Manitoba Justice Crime Prevention initiative; the federal Family Violence Initiative; the RCMP; Manitoba Probation Services; and Garden Hill First Nation.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
The establishment of this initiative was initiated by the women of Garden Hill in concert with the RCMP and Garden Hill Justice Committee as well as Garden Hill Probation Services. Membership of the committee is almost entirely made up of women from the Garden Hill community. Regular meetings and workshops are held to develop and implement awareness and education initiatives.
Garden Hill Justice Committee; Garden Hill Probation Services; the Department of Justice Community Youth Corrections.
- Other relationships:
First Nations communities and Inuit Health Services.
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by an increase in interest by the community, and by whether gang activity has changed (increased, decreased or stayed the same) after the start of this program.
The main accomplishment is the increased interest by Garden Hill residents, in particular, the core of volunteers who have come forward to offer support and assistance for the initiative.
The number of volunteers is limited and there is a high burn out. In addition, RCMP members transfer in and out of the Island Lake Detachment after a short two year posting. This is an impediment for the continuity of the program. There is a lot of educating of the community that needs to occur with regard to gang violence, its causes and its impacts.
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
The program is considered replicable. The initiative must be community driven as opposed to having it brought in from outside. It should start with information workshops for stakeholders and community representatives and should develop from a solid foundation based on sound planning and community support. In communities like Garden Hill, the initiative should include RCMP members posted to that location. It is important to establish stable funding sources by approaching local businesses.
Community involvement is essential to the success of the program. Adequate funding needs to be sourced to ensure program success.
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