Who we are:
Parkland Restorative Justice is a community organization located in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. We are thankful to live and work on Treaty Six Territory and the Homeland of the Metis. We give honor and pay respect to the First Nations and Metis ancestors of this place and affirm our relationship with one another.
We believe that positive social support is a basic need of all people and a powerful healing tool for change. For over 40 years our programs have reached those in the justice system by connecting volunteers with those who are incarcerated or recently released. We offer different programs with varying levels of commitment. Volunteers receive comprehensive training and support by staff. By walking with those in our justice system, our volunteers are helping to prevent further harm and demonstrating that no one is disposable.
Core to what we do are the values and principles found in restorative justice. We emphasize the following restorative practices in our programming:
- Providing social support to those who involved in the justice system while encouraging them to understand, accept, and carry out obligations.
- Encouraging collaboration and reintegration, rather than coercion and isolation in our justice system.
- Showing respect for all parties, including victims, those who have offended and justice colleagues.
- Involving and empowering the affected community through the justice process, and increase its capacity to recognize and respond to community bases of crime.
We provide support to individuals and their families before, during and after incarceration and/or involvement in the justice system.
We build effective networks based on collaboration and reciprocity as we advocate for alternative justice solutions in serving the common good.
In 1974, a group of Mennonites implemented an inmate visitation program at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. Orville Andres, a Mennonite pastor, began the program with only 7 volunteers – which quickly grew to over 100 volunteers in the 1980’s after Dale Schiele took over as full time coordinator. The program was called Person to Person (P2P), and was designed to match volunteers on a permanent one-to one basis with inmates to provide friendship and affirm human dignity to inmates experiencing loneliness and isolation. The focus of visitation was in Prince Albert, where most of the province’s correctional facilities existed and where the only federal institution in the province was situated. As time went on, visits were also offered in prisons in Saskatoon.
Throughout the years, it became evident to the co-ordinator and volunteers of the P2P program that offenders needed more reintegration support. More support would lesson the likihood of them re-offending and creating more victims. In 1997, the Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) model, used for reintegrating sex offenders, was adopted by the staff and volunteers in the P2P program to work with newly released offenders reintegrating in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, or Regina areas.
In 2014, increased support across denominational lines led to the transition of P2P and CoSA programming in Prince Albert to no longer being under the umbrella of Mennonite Church Saskatchewan, but under the formation of a new non profit, Parkland Restorative Justice. This formation was intended to better reflect the variety of partners involved in the organization and to keep it a financially sustainable initiative. Meanwhile in Saskatoon, The Micah Mission, and in Regina, CoSA South Saskatchewan, were formed by a variety of faith partners in those communities.
Staff & Board
Bookkeeping and Admin: Lloyd Schmidt
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Brad Taylor (Chair) Crystal Halliday (Sec. Treasurer)
David Butorac David Whalley Melanie Knight Nicole Rancourt
BECOME A BOARD MEMBER
Parkland Restorative Justice Board of Directors is always in search of new members that bring fresh ideas and talents to the organization.
The Board of Directors meets 5-7 times a year in Prince Albert.
If you are interested in serving as a board member please contact us at [email protected].
We are thankful for the generous support from the following organizations:
Mennonite Church Saskatchewan
Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Prince Albert
The Evangelical Covenant Church
The United Church of Canada (Living Skies Regional Council)
CoSA Canada Cornerstone Church, Saskatoon Grace Mennonite Church, Prince Albert The Law Foundation of Saskatchewan Rosthern Mennonite Church
Neuanlage Grace Mennonite Church
Carrot River Mennonite Church
Gateway Covenant Church, Prince Albert Community Services Recovery Fund, United Way Saskatoon