ARJAA executive director Tony DeWaal with the Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award.

ARJAA executive director Tony DeWaal with the Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award.

Abbotsford Restorative Justice receives national award

Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association has been recognized by the annual Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award program.

Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA) is among eight national organizations that have been recognized by the annual Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award program.

The award is presented by the Correctional Service of Canada’s restorative justice division.

ARJAA was among those receiving a certificate of recognition during the 13th annual awards dinner and conference in Kamloops at the end of November.

The Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award began in June 1999 in honour of the late former warden of Ferndale and Elbow Lake correctional institutions who died of cancer.

He believed in the vision and values of restorative justice and modelled these in his family, work and community life.

The award recognizes Canadians who “have demonstrated new and innovative ways of transforming human relationships … by enabling and promoting communication and healing between people in conflict, whether they are victims, offenders, colleagues, families or neighbours.”

ARJAA executive director Tony deWaal accepted the award on behalf of the organization, which has 14 mentors and 20 mediators for conflict resolution. Sixty hours of training is now being offered to another 20 volunteers.

As well, the agency has a team of four that works with the Abbotsford Police Department, and is projected to handle 125 files from 48 different offices this year.

ARJAA also handles referrals from local schools. For more information, visit http://www.arjaa.org or call 604-864-4857.