Conferences

Activity

Read the story and answer the questions below to reinforce the content that you have just learned.  

A Troubled Life

Frank Brown was a very angry 17-year-old of Aboriginal ancestry who grew up in Bella Bella. Frank and some friends decided to steal some alcohol from a local bootlegger but didn’t anticipate running into the man. They assaulted him very seriously and the community felt Frank was a dangerous young man. To make matters worse, Frank had been carrying a loaded gun. He was charged with assault causing bodily harm and armed robbery.

This wasn’t the first time Frank had been in trouble. He had a previous conviction for breaking and entering and had been sentenced to a corrections camp for 16 months. However, his time in corrections didn’t seem to have any kind of positive impact. In fact, he had been negatively influenced there by other troubled teens. The community felt Frank and the crowd he was running with were dangerous. This latest incident confirmed their fears.

A group of people who cared about Frank felt if he was sent to jail he would be exposed to a lot of bad influences and come back to Bella Bella worse than when he left. They were willing to try to come up with a plan that would help Frank understand his background, appreciate his culture and turn his life around. Frank’s early home life had been unstable and probably contributed to his troubled teen years. However, this latest wrongdoing was too serious to be overlooked.

Answer these questions:

  1. What advantages would come from jailing Frank?
  2. What are some disadvantages of a jail sentence?
  3. What are some alternatives that might be considered?
  4. What are the victim’s views and needs in this case?

Jackie’s Tagging      

Jackie, 13, had some problems at home and got in trouble with the police last year for breaking a window. After dinner, Jackie usually went out with his friends. Sometimes they went to the park. Sometimes they walked around the neighbourhood and talked. One evening, they found some spray cans of paint and used the paint to write on the walls of several neighbourhood stores. A storeowner saw the boys and called the police. The police caught Jackie with the paint.

Jackie could have ended up in court but instead the problem was handled in another way. Jackie and his parents had to go to a conference. The storeowners were also there. A facilitator helped everyone talk about the problem. Jackie felt badly when he met the store owners and understood that the owners were really upset about the walls. They decided what to do and an agreement was drawn up.

Answer these questions:

  1. If you were Jackie, what would you agree to do?
  2. If you were the store owners, what would you want Jackie to do?