Aboriginal Offenders Getting the Support They Need

Thursday, November 25, 2004 at 14:13



A corrections official in Prince Albert says a growing number of culturally-specific programs for Aboriginal offenders is helping them re-integrate back into society.


Saskatchewan Penitentiary unit manager Trent Mitchell told a public forum yesterday that initiatives like the

Broken Wing program offer offenders the chance to think about release before it actually takes place.


He feels that is a key factor in reducing the chance they’ll offend again when their sentence is up.


Mitchell adds some may not like the restorative approach the justice system is taking these days but feels it’s smarter than the alternative.


He points out that most offenders are on fixed sentences but likely won’t change their ways unless they know how to cope in a rapidly-changing world.


He notes many northern communities are establishing committees so the public knows beforehand just who is coming back to them and why.


That initiative also allows residents to meet with the offender and offer help if needed.