COMPENDIUM OF PROMISING PRACTICES TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AND INCREASE SAFETY OF ABORIGINAL WOMEN IN CANADA – COMPENDIUM ANNEX: DETAILED PRACTICE DESCRIPTIONS
Access to Justice Services
- Program name:
The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court & The Community Wellness Court
The Yukon Department of Justice
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory
- Target Group:
Aboriginal women and men.
- Contact Name:
Tanya Basnett, Therapeutic Courts Coordinator
The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court (DVTOC) was begun in 2001. The Community Wellness Court has been operating for two years and is considered a pilot program.
- Goals & Objectives:
To address the aggressive behaviour of individuals to improve the safety of the public and to connect the individual with resources needed to change that behaviour.
- Traditional/Indigenous ways:
As part of the overall case planning there is the use of the Medicine Wheel concept, as well as programming that is culturally relevant at the Wellness Justice Centre. The program offers a First Nations based addiction program, and a perspective of treatment that is associated with being on the land.
- Components of program:
The DVTOC provides a fast-tracking for charges and conditions to protect the victim, who is often an Aboriginal woman in the community. Prevention and safety plans can be initiated, depending on the circumstances. Negotiation takes place with many groups on how to best handle this specific situation, including the issues of family contact. There is a central one-stop set of programming to assist Aboriginal women as well as other groups.
- Services/How they work:
Services are rendered on site at the facility, in the community and on the land.
Funding provided by federal and provincial governments. The CWC is a pilot program and funding for the upcoming year has been applied for.
Relationships and Stakeholders
- Involvement of Target Groups:
There is feedback from the communities, including from the working group. In addition, there are individual interviews conducted to see what is working and what is not, as well as discussions with various groups within the justice field.
The Council of Yukon Chiefs; the Aboriginal Court Workers are two examples of groups working in partnership with the DVTOC and the CWC. There are partnerships and collaborations with various health services.
- Other relationships:
There are informal associations, such as family outings for hockey and free Tim Horton's coffee to promote activities not associated with poor lifestyle choices.
Details of Program Evaluation
No evaluation has been completed.
- Highlights of Evaluation Findings:
- Measures of Success:
Success is measured by the collection of data and observations from various agencies to ascertain whether the program is working.
Successfully implementing a program that protects the victim while promoting a restoration of justice and relationship with the offender.
Obtaining funding. The most difficult challenge is getting all the necessary people to the table to discuss an individual and their needs along with the need to protect the victim(s).
Things to Know to Replicate
- Replication Advice:
Program considered replicable. No advice given.
Adequate funding and sufficiently trained staff are necessary for program to succeed.
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