John Howard Society educates students

Presentation focuses on youth criminal justice

  • Oct. 31, 2012 3:01 p.m.

The John Howard Society recently made a presentation to a Red Deer school in hopes of teaching students about youth criminal justice.

Joanna Pandeiroot, criminal justice education coordinator for the John Howard Society, goes to different schools teaching students about what the youth criminal justice is and how it can be beneficial.

Pandeiroot made a presentation to a Grade 9 class at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School yesterday morning.

The presentation topic was about the youth criminal justice system, and is designed to introduce students to the concept of the criminal justice system, victims of crime, sentencing in youth court and youth criminal records.

These types of presentations are made to students in Grades 1 -12 all across Central Alberta. Pandeiroot has over 253 schools in her division and she will make an average of five presentations in a day.

One of the main goals of the presentation is to get the students to have a broader understanding of what the youth criminal justice system is and how it can help them if they have made some wrong choices.

“Speaking with today’s youth is very important simply because it’s a deterrent for these kids if they know what they’re up against then maybe they can change their mind,” said Pandeiroot.

Another program that the John Howard Society has is the Horizon House, a halfway house in downtown Red Deer. This is a 25-bed facility for federal offenders and houses both men and women who have been granted release by the National Parole Board. The Society provides advocacy and support for reintegration through the restorative process.

While staying at Horizon House each person will work one-on-one with a caseworker who will support them in reaching their goals.

Finally, the intake and liaison program offers services through the help of caseworkers. Caseworkers provide services for individuals who are currently incarcerated, released from a correctional facility or at some point have been involved with the criminal justice system.

In collaboration with provincial and federal corrections staff, government and community agencies, they provide aid in the transition back into the community.

The John Howard Society has been an advocate for people who have been in conflict with the law since the 1980s. They will help anyone needing help working through the legal system whether they have been incarcerated or not.

The John Howard Society of Red Deer, located in the heart of downtown, serves Central Alberta by providing support and services to the community with a focus on criminal justice and crime prevention. Their programs are focused on prevention, community engagement and education to encourage community safety.