Alternative Measures Program.

Essay by missa79University, Bachelor'sB, September 2003

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In the Criminal Justice System, there are various numbers of alternative responses to crime that can be administered to offenders. During the process of rehabilitation, incarceration is not always the only answer and the criminal justice system looks at other options of rehabilitation for the offender. In this paper, I am going to look at one particular alternative response to crime and it is called the alternative measures program. Is this a good means of rehabilitation? Does it always have positive results? Throughout this paper I will answer these questions and provide the reader with a better understanding of the topic.

The alternative measures program is a type of diversion program, which allows the victim and the offender to reconcile, the victim is compensated for the offender's actions, and a formal hearing is avoided within the courts. "All alternative measures programs across Canada are designed to allow people to take responsibility for their criminal behaviour, to meet with their victims, and to work out mutually satisfactory methods for restitution."1

The offenders are then allowed to complete community service and attend counselling and/or treatment programs, if required. This type of restorative justice is used, instead of the government determining the outcome, where the community and the victim meet with the offender to decide how the harm will be repaired.

With the alternative measures program, it is geared towards both the youth and the adults. One process, by which the offender and the victim meet face-to-face, is through mediation. This usually happens most often with adults, rather than with the youth. In this type of scenario, it is the offender, the victim, and a mediator who all take part in the process. One study showed that through mediation fear among the victims was reduced. "Before mediation, 25% of the victims were afraid...