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  • Credentials - YRAP is a sanctioned Youth Justice Committee, sanctioned by the Government of Alberta since 2003.

The Youth Restorative Action Project (YRAP) formed in 2001 with a group of youth who were concerned that youth were often not equipped to advocate for their rights in the large systems in which they find themselves, such as the child welfare system, the education system, and the criminal justice system.  YRAP was heavily influenced by the ideas of restorative justice, a community-based approach in which those who have committed offenses are held accountable for harm that they have caused and those harmed are included, with the ultimate goal of reducing or reversing the harm that has been done as well as preventing re-offense.

In 2003, the Youth Criminal Justice Act was enacted, allowing for members of the community to form Youth Justice Committees in order to address crimes in their communities differently than might take place in standard court.  On May 13, 2003, YRAP was officially sanctioned as a Youth Justice Committee and has received numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Youth Gold Award and the National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award.

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    YRAP strives to bring about positive outcomes for those affected by criminal activity. In accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the principles of Restorative Justice, YRAP aims to create meaningful consequences that are educational and rehabilitative rather than punitive. Clients are referred to YRAP when they have underlying factors that make their lives unstable. Often for the young person to be able to take responsibility and for consequences to be meaningful, they must first have a level of support and stability, and to this end YRAP provides some support and advocacy for the young person while they are a part of the program. In all instances YRAP considers the long-term.

    YRAP also allows victims of crime to have a greater level of involvement in the process than through traditional court. Some of those who are harmed by a young person’s crime would rather not be involved any further, while others find a great deal of closure in coming to understand why they were harmed and perhaps to prevent it from happening again. Should the victim choose, their input can be passed on to the court and even included in YRAP’s sentencing recommendations.

    When YRAP is dealing with an offense, victims are able to choose to be involved based on their comfort level and on what would be positive and meaningful to them. This can take a variety of forms such as a simple phone conversation, writing a letter, passing on thoughts via a YRAP director or a youth panel, or participating in a mediation with the accused. YRAP members are aware that every person has particular needs and is prepared to be extremely flexible.

    Our vision is to provide a relationship-based, holistic environment which uses an autonomous and youth-centered voice as authentic and sustainable change is the responsibility of both the individual and the community.