Alberta solicitor general to fight for restorative justice
Sep 07, 2011
from the article at CBC News:
Alberta's solicitor general is vowing to fight to restore funding for restorative justice programs in the face of mounting criticism from his party and a retired chief justice.
"I will fight to restore it," Frank Oberle told CBC News. "I'm going to fight to restore the grant money next year."
Oberle said he was forced to eliminate the $350,000 grant for the program to reach budget targets.
His department is responsible for jails in Alberta and most of his budget is taken up by salaries where there is no room to cut.
"How we supervise prisoners is defined by union contract and court decisions and and staffing models," he said.
Oberle said he supports the concept of restorative justice which brings victims and criminals face-to-face with the goal of making amends.
"It has real value to the victim," said Oberle. "That is a key point here. It allows the victim to have ownership in the justice system."
Oberle's comments come after the former chief justice of Alberta's Court of Queen's Bench and Progressive Conservative leadership candidates publicly expressed bewilderment and dismay over his decision, which was first reported by CBC News Monday.
"It was very positive legislation," said former chief justice Allan Wachowich. "It was constructive. It was progressive, innovative and it was visionary."