New restorative justice program proposed

Black Creek residents Lee and Grace Gingrich are proposing a restorative justice program to serve the Comox Valley.

Black Creek residents Lee and Grace Gingrich are proposing a restorative justice program to serve the Comox Valley.Dubbed Stronghold Restorative Justice, the goal is to control vandalism by making young offenders participate in restorative services and connect with victims in a positive manner. “Action is crucial,” Grace said in a Monday presentation to Cumberland council. The couple, involved with School District 71’s Alternate Education Work Program, is in the process of registering their business proposal as a non-profit society. They would work alongside young offenders once or twice a week over the course of a year, supervising repairs to damaged property, painting, pruning, graffiti cleaning and other such tasks that give back to the community. The program would operate on a monthly budget of $4,520. The school district has contributed $5,000. The couple hopes another 10 to 12 organizations will each contribute the same amount on a yearly basis.The program would obtain referrals through the school district, the John Howard Society and other agencies.The Comox Valley Community Justice Centre has been applying restorative justice for years.