Back to RJ Archive

A Vision of Wellness: A First Nation Community Takes Control

Warhaft, E. Barry
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) M.A. thesis, School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University, Canada. Downloaded 28 February 2005.

In the context of the constitutional recognition of existing Aboriginal rights and the acknowledged failure of the criminal justice system to meet the needs of Aboriginal peoples, in 1994, the First Nation community of Healing Rock, British Columbia, moved to assume greater control over the design and delivery of its justice services in the form of a community-based justice initiative called the Community Wellness Program (CWP).
The CWP is an innovative community-based treatment and aftercare program for perpetrators and victims of sexual abuse. Unlike other community justice initiatives, the CWP emphasizes treatment and offender reporting, as opposed to incarceration and victim disclosure, to effect individual and community-wide change.

The objective of this thesis was to document the process by which the CWP moved from a community idea to reality. A combination of in-person interviews and archival data documented the lived experience of those community members who were most closely involved in the initiation and maintenance of the CWP. Government personnel were also interviewed to provide a framework for understanding the political environment in which Aboriginal community-based justice programs receive or are denied support. The result of this exploration is that the CWP is presented not only as a story in justice programming, but also as a story of community development and community/government relationship building. Author’s abstract.


AbstractCourtsIndigenous JusticeNorth America and CaribbeanPoliceRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now