The Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association (ARJAA) has launched its new Adopt-a-Case fundraising program.
Businesses, groups and individuals are invited to donate $500 to help cover the costs of mediating a case between a young or first-time offender and his/her victim.
While respecting confidentiality, sponsors will receive general information, including the outcome of the case selected for sponsorship.
Sponsors will also be granted special recognition on the ARJAA website and newsletter, and will have the option to have ARJAA present to their staff and/or colleagues.
The first two $500 sponsors are Kinder Morgan and Algra Brothers Development Ltd.
ARJAA executive director Tony deWaal said ARJAA has had a 66 per cent increase in referrals from the Abbotsford Police over the last three years, and funding has not kept up.
“A critical goal of restorative justice is a timely and just process. We have not been able to keep up with referrals and want to give the community the opportunity to get involved in helping by adopting a case,” he said.
The cost of each mediation is approximately one-fifth the cost of court proceedings because no lawyers, court time or judges are involved deWaal said.
ARJAA has set a goal of 35 adopted cases before the end of 2012.
Those interested can contact deWaal at 604-309-8750 or visit the website arjaa.org.