Media Advisory: Youth Circles-Building Peaceful Communities
TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Feb. 22, 2007) –
ATTENTION NEWS DESKS/NEWS EDITORS
A cross-city Project to help at-risk Toronto youth resolve conflicts and steer them away from gang violence, the courts and potential jail time will be launched Wednesday February 28, 2007.
‘Youth Circles’ is supported by community leaders, educators, mental health officials, police, and the legal community.
‘Youth Circles’ is led and designed by Peacebuilders International to break the crime-and-punishment cycle by allowing disruptive youths to voluntarily address their conflicting issues as an alternative to the punitive court process through participation with victims in peacemaking circles.Based on the peacemaking circles process used by many aboriginal communities and adapted to serve diverse, multi-cultural populations, Youth Circles will help youth take responsibility for their actions and learn to make better life choices.
A report on the Peacemaking Circles Pilot Project in St. Jamestown and Regent Park, and an outline of the new Youth Circles Project, will be released at a panel discussion on youth justice headed by The Hon. R. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario. Panelists will include educators, police, mental health, youth and community leaders.
The Youth Circles Project is a partnership of Peacebuilders International (Canada), St. Stephen’s Community House Conflict Resolution Service, Pro Bono Law Ontario, and Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and is supported by the City of Toronto Community Safety Secretariat.
WHEN: Wednesday February 28; 10:00 to 11:00 am
WHERE: Wellesley Community Centre 495 Sherbourne Street (north-east corner of Wellesley & Sherbourne)
WHAT: Panel discussion and launch of Youth Circles Project
NOTE: Members of the news media are asked to arrive no later than 9:45 am for setup. In addition to the report, DVD footage showing the circles process at work will be provided. Panelists will be available for interviews following discussion.