The Community Resource Centre employs a Community Justice Worker to implement the Direct Accountability Program in Renfrew County. The Community Justice Worker is available at all First Appearance Courts (Pembroke, Renfrew and Killaloe), to meet with adults who have been charged with minor criminal offences and referred by the Crown Attorney. The Community Justice Worker creates sanctions for the individual to complete. These may include a letter of apology, restitution, a charitable donation, community service hours or attending a program or counselling. Once the assigned tasks are completed, the charges are withdrawn by the Court.
The Direct Accountability Program benefits the community and the participant by:
- allowing for the efficient resolution of some minor court matters;
- saving on the amount of time victims and witnesses may have to spend in court;
- recognizing that community-based sanctions can be an effective way of holding some people accountable for some minor offenses;
- holding people accountable for their actions while ensuring thay also make amends for the harm caused.