What is the Community Youth Justice Initiative?

The Community Youth Justice Initiative is modelled after the Restorative Justice program.

Diversions are received from the courts, police and probation officers. Once a diversion is received, the Community Youth Justice Worker (CYJW) begins to plan for a Circle to take place. In the Circle, the youth is given the opportunity to understand his/her behaviour, and how it affected others around them.

Victims, offenders and the community are involved in this process. CYJWs facilitate healing circles to work towards a resolution that provides for making amends, healing and successful re-integration into the community while preventing further harm.

Proper follow-up and monitoring are made to ensure that the youth fulfil their undertakings pursuant to the Circle Agreement.

Goal of the CYWI Program

The intent of the program is to guide youth to a better understanding of how their behaviour affects others in the community and to make amends by giving back to the community in a meaningful way.

Youth will gain a new insight into the cause and effects of their behaviour. In addition, the program may help youth to develop new skills and interests and to seek out new training opportunities.

The Circle Participants?

  • The victim and his or her supporters (i.e. family members, friends, etc.)
  • The offender and his or her supporters (i.e. family members, friends, etc.
  • Key persons involved in helping the offender and victim, such as youth workers, social workers, teachers and counsellors
  • Elders
  • Concerned members of the community

Participation by all parties (victim, offender, etc.) must be voluntary. A forum should be made available when an offender makes an admission and agrees to participate.

Our Clients

  • Youth  between the ages of 12-17 at the time of pre-charge or post-charge diversion
  • Youth who are in trouble with the law
  • Youth who want to turn your life around
  • Youth who are serious about taking responsibility for and being accountable for their actions and behaviour

Types of Cases Covered

For criminal matters, Circles are most commonly used as a pre-charge diversion – at the investigating officer’s discretion.

For post-charge diversions, the Crown Attorney will carefully consider all of the circumstances of the particular charge before deciding whether the offence may be referred to the Youth Justice Program.


  • Theft
  • Assault
  • Break and Enter
  • Breaches
  • Bullying
  • Uttering Threats

Post Charge:

To be Updated

Requirements or Outcomes for Youth from the Circle Process

  • Volunteer work in the community, tending to Elders, getting firewood or shovelling, gathering of food, volunteering or attending community events
  • Fine
  • Written or verbal apology
  • Attending presentations
  • Attendance at school
  • Testimonies, sharing of stories to provide a teaching
  • Making and presenting gifts to the person(s) harmed
  • Attending a treatment program or another self-help program

Coverage Area

Zone 1 (East)

  • Attawapiskat
  • Beaverhouse
  • Brunswick House
  • Chapleau Cree
  • Chapleau Ojibwe
  • Constance Lake
  • Fort Albany
  • Kashechewan
  • Matachewan
  • Mattagami
  • Moose Cree
  • Wahgoshig

Zone 2 (Central)

  • Eabametoong
  • Marten Falls
  • Neskantaga
  • Nibinamik
  • Webequie

Zone 3 (West)

  • Bearskin Lake
  • Cat Lake
  • Deer Lake
  • Fort Severn
  • Kasabonika Lake
  • Keewaywin
  • Kingfisher Lake
  • Kitchenumaykoosib Inninuwug
  • MacDowell Lake
  • Mishkeegogamang
  • Muskrat Dam
  • North Caribou Lake
  • North Spirit Lake
  • Pikangikum
  • Poplar Hill
  • Sandy Lake
  • Wapekeka
  • Wunnumin Lake