Partnership creates win-win for criminal justice

Island criminal justice group raising profile with new status

History was made this morning (Wednesday) in Victoria when two groups that raise awareness about criminal justice issues came together in partnership.

The two-year-old Vancouver Island Criminal Justice Association and the B.C. Criminal Justice Association signed papers giving them stronger ties to each other.

That, in turn, will give the regional organization, which represents 85 corrections and parole board officers and Crown councillors, among other criminal justice professionals and retirees, more credibility and a higher profile, said Vaughan Barrett, Victoria-based president of the non-partisan Vancouver Island group.

It holds regular meetings and organizes free, public information symposiums to raise awareness about criminal justice issues.

It’s also the first time regional and provincial criminal justice associations have formally linked in Canada, Barrett said, adding the relationship gives the Island group access to the powerful national Canadian Criminal Justice Association, a powerful lobbyist.

“It gives us more weight when we send in our position papers to the Solicitor General and the federal Department of Justice,” Barrett said. “We’re all excited about it.”

For more information, drop by the group’s meetings every second Thursday at 10 a.m. at St. John the Divine Church, 1611 Quadra St., or email vaughanbarrett@hotmail.com.