The Courtlink Program has three focuses: Auto Crime Prevention, Youth-at-Risk and Aboriginal Youth-at-Risk. Topics discussed include racism, attitudes toward the police and justice system, auto crime prevention and property crime. Teachers’ guides are included.
The Youth-at-Risk Courtlink Program provides opportunities to discuss issues of adaptation, racism and discrimination, attitudes towards the police and the justice system and arrange for participating youth to interact with our justice system. A teacher’s guide is included in the program, which is designed for students in grades 5-9.
Generally, the program involves:
- Learning about the structure and operation of the court system
- Meeting with police, Crown, sheriffs and other justice system personnel
- Participating in mock trials
Participants examine the consequences of breaking the law as well as focus on concerns expressed by local schools referring to youth. This could include issues such as careers in the courts, racism, gangs, drugs, assault, prostitution, property crime and/or vandalism. Each program is tailored to meet the needs of the participating students.
In addition, the program:
- Introduces youth to the Canadian justice system
- Provides youth with a proactive view of crime prevention
- Provides youth with a forum to discuss their perceptions about the Canadian justice system and racism
- Creates sustainable programs with funding from each school district in partnership with businesses and community organizations
- Develops leadership skills in youth by providing them with knowledge, skills and attitudes about the justice system that can be carried back to their schools, families and communities
Auto Crime Prevention
This program provides focused, hands-on education about the consequences of auto crime and how youth can contribute to preventing auto crime in BC. The program, which includes a teacher’s guide, is targeted toward students in Grade 7, Grade 12 Law and youth-at-risk.
The objectives of the program are to:
- Increase the knowledge of youth about auto crime and its effect on the individual, courts and society
- Provide youth with a proactive view of auto crime prevention and examine the costs of auto crime for individuals and society
- Provide youth with a realistic view of the consequences of auto crime
- Focus on promoting positive attitudes and behaviour in order to prevent auto crime
- Evaluate participants for knowledge, attitudes and behaviour regarding auto crime
- Develop program components to respond to local needs using a community-based approach
- Foster partnerships with school districts, agencies and community-based organizations which will build support for the program
The program consists of activities in three phases:
1. The first series of activities are carried out by teachers and students in the classroom. These activities introduce students to the topic of auto crime and prepare students for the next phase.
2. The second series of activities are included in a one-day visit to a nearby courthouse facilitated by one or more staff of the Justice Education Society. Activities at the court may include presentations by justice system personnel, courtwatching or mock trials.
3. The third series of activities are carried out by teachers and students in the classroom following the courthouse visit. The activities are designed to have students reflect on and possibly act on their new understanding of auto crime.
With the generous support of Capri Insurance, this program continues to be delivered in Kelowna and Vernon to Grade 7 students.
To find out more about this program or to book your group, contact the Regional Office
in your area.
The Aboriginal Youth-at-Risk Courtlink program is designed for students enrolled in an alternate class situation or alternate program at the upper elementary or high school level. The program emphasizes property crime and or vandalism, violence/assault and lying but could also include racism, gangs, drugs and careers in the courts. A teacher’s guide is included in the program.
The program addresses the justice-related issues of youth who are at risk for the following:
- Trouble with the law
- School dropout
- Substance abuse
And who exhibit the following:
- Low self-esteem
- Behavioural problems (verbal or physical violence)
- Introduces youth to the criminal justice system
- Provides youth with a positive experience with the justice system
- Provides youth with a forum to discuss their perceptions about the Canadian justice system
- Assists youth to understand the personal consequences of breaking the law and the consequences to family and community
- Develop positive behaviours for citizenship
- Introduces youth to traditional First Nations approaches to the justice system