It’s abundantly clear that the justice system has many limitations and ‘get tough’ approaches to crime are ineffective. Rather than focusing on what doesn’t work, I’m always interested in creating what does work.

Hence I was intrigued to be invited to join the Smart Justice Network of Canada (SJNC) – a collaborative, non-partisan volunteer effort of individuals and organizations whose vision is a responsible and effective justice system that upholds values like human dignity for all. Smart Justice takes a holistic approach recognizing the complex connections among crime and health, education, employment, housing, economics, social inequality, addictions and mental illness.

A Smart Justice movement is developing in different countries; such as in Australia whose mission among their 27 partners is to “promote a safer community through criminal justice policies that reduce crime, are based on evidence, and comply with human rights.”

SJNC encourages public conversations about justice and dialogues are being launched  in communities across Canada this fall 2013 to discuss what’s wrong, what works and what we can do.

In my home province of British Columbia a small working group of us are hosting a dialogue day on Oct 6 in Vancouver with the aim to  launch Smart Justice BC. There are many questions and issues to delve into.

You are invited to participate! Our flyer is copied below:


You are invited to join a dialogue and working group to inspire collaborative policy and practice to make a significant difference in British Columbia.

Together we will establish a Smart Justice Network within BC. Working in concert with Smart Justice Canada.

Sunday Oct 6, 2013
9:30 am – 5:00 pm

Segal Graduate School of Business
500 Granville St, Vancouver

A facilitated workshop on key social and justice issues. Led by knowledgeable leaders with passion for change.

Steering Committee:

Retired Judge Barry Stuart
David Gustafson, Community Justice Initiatives BC
Dr. Evelyn Zellerer, Peace of the Circle
Cheryl Matthew, Justice Institute of BC
Dr. Frank Tester, UBC
Andrew Van Eden, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Natalie DeFreitas, Douglas College
Dr. Brenda Morrison, SFU

Workshops will focus on practical changes that inspire innovative collaborative practice in British Columbia, short and long term.

Outcomes Sought:

  • Create shared awareness of what can be done by working together to make real differences
  • Develop a BC network to build on what works
  • Promote conditions for successful collaborative partnerships
  • Identify and foster social capacity investments to support economic sustainability investments

Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required; please contact Lynda Fletcher: lyndafg@purposesocie