Source: (2003) Paper presented at the 6th International Conference On Restorative Justice. Vanucouver, British Columbia. June 1-4, 2003. Downloaded 17 September 2003.

For more than ten years, Partners in Learning (PIL) has been connecting volunteer inmate tutors from Ferndale Minimum Security Institution with local alternate high school teachers who volunteer their time to supervise these men as they tutor adolescent learners at selected public schools within the Abbotsford and Mission School Districts. Addressing the question of what contributes to the sustainability of this program is an exploration of the impetus behind the Partners in Learning Program. It has the potential to enhance Canadian correctional understanding in two significant ways. First, in our work with offenders, we know that these men do not come to us as merely individual entities but rather as members of a broad variety of communities representing the interests and cultures valued within the Canadian mosaic. Returning offenders to their respective communities as law abiding citizens is central to our mandate. Convicted criminals may not be at the top of many nonprofit volunteer recruitment lists, however, they have proven to be effective and productive volunteers. Peter Drucker reminds us that, “Human beings need community. If there are no communities available for constructive ends, there will be destructive, murderous communities (Civilizing the City, 1998).�? Our organizational task in this regard is to facilitate individuals’ movement into identifiable constructive communities such as the Partners in Learning Program. We have a vested interest in highlighting the identity of these constructive communities and in the co-constructing them. (excerpt)

Read Full Article