John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland of BC

By: Jhslmbc  09-12-2011
Keywords: criminal justice, Criminal Justice System

Community Services

We support individuals who are transitioning into the community from federal and provincial institutions, individuals with developmental disabilities and persistent mental health conditions, and people at risk of becoming homeless.

Our Community Services Office at 752 Kingsway in Vancouver provides walk-in services for individuals needing help finding affordable housing, obtaining medical and/or social insurance cards, income tax returns, employment program referrals, drug and alcohol treatment information, and other forms of community support.

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Family's Guide to Federal Corrections:
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a general guide for family members of men and women serving federal sentences in BC.

Community Services Office
752 Kingsway
Vancouver BC

604-872-5471 x 222

Prison Services

Some of the concerns addressed include:

  • help with ID replacement
  • information about legal services
  • reintegration
  • pre-release plans
  • pardons
  • drug and alcohol related issues
  • housing
  • income assistance
  • income taxes

Employment Preparation Program

The Employment Preparation Program is offered to men at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre. In order to participate in this program, men must be considered open custody/minimum security inmates or be under protective custody. It is made up of three sessions, each one a full day (09:00 – 15:00), with a certificate provided upon completion.

Topics covered

  • finding and maintaining employment
  • maintaining positive interpersonal relationships
  • overcoming self-defeating behaviours
  • tools for expanding employment opportunities
  • planning for release
  • identifying relevant community resources
  • developing personalized resumes and cover letters
  • developing personal plans

Employment Preparation Program inquiries:

Community Services Office
752 Kingsway
Vancouver BC
V5V 3C1

604-872-5471 x 223
604-872-8737 (fax)

Homelessness Partnership Strategy

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Youth Advocacy

Choices & Consequences

The Choices and Consequences Program provides a unique opportunity for younger people to hear about the realities of the criminal justice system from someone whose personal choices led them down a negative path, and who have since made positive steps toward rehabilitation and reconciliation. These volunteers are motivated to share their experiences to help guide young people in making positive choices.

This program is available for schools, youth groups, and community centers.

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The goal of the program is not to "scare kids straight." Our speakers do not glorify or glamorize the negative aspects of their personal histories. Our aim is to increase the awareness of young people as to the real and possibly lifelong negative impact of involvement in crime.

The program:

  • offers personal narratives about the realities of the criminal justice system, as well as the choices the speaker made leading up to their incarceration, and what made them turn their lives around
  • challenges preconceived ideas about what it means to be labelled a "criminal"
  • emphasizes crime as a community concern affecting all people
  • engages youth of all ages and diverse backgrounds
  • provides an opportunity for volunteer speakers to give back to the community by educating those who may someday be at risk of negative involvement in the criminal justice system

Speakers

Choices and Consequences speakers are candid, often emotional, and always honest. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and get involved. All volunteer speakers are carefully screened and interviewed for suitability.

To book a Choices and Consequences speaker or for more information, contact Community Services:

Community Services Office
604-872-5471 x 222

Be a Choices Speaker

Prostitution Offender Program
of British Columbia

The Prostitution Offender Program of BC (POPBC) tackles the issues associated with prostitution by concentrating on the conduct of the consumers (johns), rather than the prostitutes. It includes community members as a part of the solution and exposes the realities of prostitution to the johns.

Consumers of prostitution are shown how their actions contribute directly to the commercial and sexual exploitation and abuse of women and youth.

The John Howard Society of the Lower Mainland facilitates the POPBC in agreement with the Vancouver Police Board. POPBC takes referrals from all BC jurisdictions.

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The Prostitution Offender Program British Columba is available for any person arrested for Communication for the Purposes of Prostitution. It is intended:

  • To educate rather than punish (this is not a "shame the johns" program)
  • To provide the participant with the opportunity to understand the effects of his actions

In a non-confrontational way, the participant will listen to real stories from survivors, parents, and others who have been adversely affected by prostitution. This is a valuable opportunity for the program's presenters to confront their pasts, to learn, and to heal.

To complete the Prostitution Offender Program, a person must:

  • attend a 2-hour orientation session to determine suitability
  • complete and actively participate in the 8-hour program
  • pay a $500 fee.

Excess funds are distributed to:

  • Operations
  • Support Services and Programs
  • Education
  • Research

Topics covered

Legal issues and diversion

The legal ramifications of sex trade involvement: Section 213, Criminal Code of Canada (Communication for the Purpose of Prostitution) and Section 212.4 (Obtaining Sexual Services of a Person Under 18 Years of Age) are explained and court penalties are described. There are also risks of violation to the john (theft and robbery) and the risk of johns being charged with other crimes such as assault, sexual assault or committing an indecent act.

Health issues and prevention

A Street Nurse from the BC Centre for Disease Control talks about STDs and other health issues encountered in the sex trade and how these issues impact partners, spouses, children, newborns and fetuses.

The consequences of having a permanent police file

A Vice Unit Detective from the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) talks about what it means to be listed in the database of the program entitled "Deter, Identify, Sex-trade Consumers" (DISC) and the consequences for those who re-offend. This internationally recognized information management system shares sex-trade related information with more than 40 other police jurisdictions throughout North America.

Pimps/recruiters/entrepreneurs

The pimp is the entrepreneur, women are the raw material, and their bodies are the product. How pimps operate, and how they recruit and treat the women are discussed (the average age of entry into prostitution is less than 16 years of age). Program participants are informed that they are supporting and funding an industry that thrives on the commercial sexual exploitation and abuse of young people.

Impacts on communities

A community member who lives (or works) in an area that has been used by the sex trade shows the impact to neighbourhoods, families, residents and businesses as a result of its presence.

The voices of victims/survivors

Sex trade survivors tell their stories, stressing what kind of impact the johns and pimps have had on their lives. Feedback from the parents and former workers suggests that presenting their stories in this context provides a very important mechanism for personal healing.

A parent's perspective

A mother and father whose daughter was recruited into the sex trade relate their family's experiences to the participants. They conclude by stating that even though their daughter has been out for fourteen years they do not believe that their daughter will ever have a normal relationship with a man in her lifetime.

"What now?": healthy relationships

Admission Referrals

A person may admit themselves or be referred to the Prostitution Offender Program:

  • by the police
  • by the court
  • through the Alternative Measures Program

Eligibility

When a person is arrested for Communications for the Purposes of Prostitution (Section 213 – Criminal Code of Canada) he may be eligible for POPBC if he:

  • Has no related criminal record
  • Presents well during the arrest
  • Has nothing in his possession that would indicate malicious intent
  • Has taken full responsibility for the arrest

Please contact the Prostitution Offender Program Coordinator:

604-872-5651 x 305
604-872-8737

Outreach

Goals

  • Enhance and support quality of life.
  • Promote independence by providing life skills training through individualized care plans developed by the individual and Outreach worker.
  • Increased inclusion in the community, neighbourhood and age-affiliated activities.
  • Provide stable, affordable housing.

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Eligibility

  • IQ between 50-70
  • At least 19 years of age
  • Need assistance in learning life skills
  • We are also able to accommodate individuals who are involved with, or at risk of involvement with, the criminal justice system.
  • Acceptance is based on relative need.

We are unable to accommodate the following:

  • physically disabled persons that cannot safely transport themselves up and down stairs
  • persons who are refusing treatment for mental health issues
  • persons participating in significant and untreated substance abuse

Vision Statement

We believe that all persons have the potential to live happy, safe and protected lives.

We promote this belief by:

  • ensuring that the people we assist know they are important as individuals and are valuable members of our society
  • helping them understand as much as possible that they are adults who are responsible for their own lives and are accountable for their own actions
  • supporting them so that they are able to actively respect themselves and thereby respect others around them
  • teaching skills that will help them make positive choices and live as independently as they can
  • helping them become or continue to be a part of their community

Life Skills Support

Clients may receive support in the following areas (and more):

Meal Planning and Cooking: Developing healthy menus and grocery lists, purchasing groceries, and cooking simple meals

Budgeting and Money Management: Helping with budgeting to pay for bills, save money and maintain a bank account

Housekeeping: Performing household chores and using cleaning products

Personal Care: Creating a hygiene checklist, purchasing supplies, cost-comparing, and recognizing when supplies are needed

Appointments: Accompanying individuals to appointments (schedule dependent)

Using Public Transit: Help with the public transit system as needed (clients are eligible to receive a yearly bus pass for $45.00 per year)

Manager of Community Living Services
752 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC
V5V 3C1

604-872-5471 x 234


Vancouver Community Council
#4 - 210 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Y 3W2
604-660-3323

Individual Care Network

Individual Care Network (ICN) provides adults with developmental disabilities a residential option where they can share a home with a care provider who offers ongoing, individualized support—it allows balance between support and independence. For some, this is a step towards greater independence while for others it is a lifelong living arrangement. An individual may live with the care provider and their family or only with their care provider as a roommate.

ICN Care Providers

ICN care providers are independent contractors who are responsible for the safety, care, supervision, and general wellbeing of the individual they are assisting and are committed to developing and nurturing positive relationships among all the people who support her/him.

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While providing ICN support can be very rewarding, it is important to carefully consider the challenges. Providing an individual with 24-hour support requires unique personal characteristics and skills. It is NOT for everyone, but for those who are suited, ICN care becomes a lifestyle choice that can be extremely rewarding.

Basic Requirements

  • Minimum age of 19
  • Current First Aid Certificate
  • Criminal record check
  • A valid driver's license
  • Driver's License Abstract
  • Completed application form
  • Completed home study
  • Physician's certification of good health
  • Signed Declaration of Confidentiality form
  • Signed Release of Information form
  • Signed Release of Information for Community Living British Columbia
  • Experience and/or training in a relevant field
  • Skills checklist
  • 3 letters of reference

Care Provider Selection

The screening and approval process for potential ICN care providers is very intensive and involves all members of the household. Contracts are granted according to several variables, including the individual's personal preferences and support needs. The individual to be cared for, along with their support network, meet a potential ICN care provider and their family in order to gather information about the home, the neighbourhood, family values, and anything else that will assist the individual to make informed decision.

The screening and approval process for potential ICN care providers is very intensive and involves all members of the household. Contracts are granted according to several variables, including the individual's personal preferences and support needs. The individual to be cared for, along with their support network, meet a potential ICN care provider and their family in order to gather information about the home, the neighbourhood, family values, and anything else that will assist the individual to make informed decision.

ICN Services
Vancouver Apartments
3008 Clark Drive
Vancouver, BC
V5N 3J1

604-872-5471 x 234

The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: criminal justice, Criminal Justice System

Contact Jhslmbc

Email - none provided

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