To the 2016-2017 Annual Report of the British Columbia Borstal Association
For sixty nine years our organization has worked with individuals - young and old - that are in trouble with the Law. We provide residential support (run halfway houses) and run numerous programs aimed at providing opportunity for each and every individual to become a better part of our community. Today, we still provide that valued service but our work in crime prevention - addressing social issues to eradicate criminal behavior - places us in the most important role of our long history:
Our sector shoulders one of the greater social services challenges in our work with incarcerated individuals. When we speak of the federal offender the term often elicits a fear response. It is difficult for many to understand what leads to incarceration, and it is easy to lay judgement against those that bring harm to our communities. While we reserve hope for the wayward child, the child often transitions to an untreated adult, and often that sense of hope dissipates; in fact, any sense of hope the individual has for themselves often does as well.
As community members, we need to take responsibility for one another – help shoulder some of life’s good and bad, and offer a hand up when a person falls. Although I know this suggestion is idealistic, research does tell us that the greatest determinant of social change is inclusion. While the BC Borstal understands that building community around every individual in a metropolitan like Vancouver is greater than our mission and ability, we do have a role to play: to help individuals erect a sense of community when they are young - and to always place this instrumental prevention piece at the forefront of our trauma work. Towards this end we are very proud to work with youth in school districts across the Lower Mainland, and we are even more proud to be leading the movement in trauma informed care in our sector and community. Our work in trauma is built on the premise that trauma prevention will decrease the numbers we see that endure poverty; homelessness; chronic and progressive mental health needs; addiction; chronic health complications; and, even engagement in criminal behavior. Here within lies the root of true crime prevention. If you have any question or interest in the work we do, or have someone you know who is in need of skilled trauma therapy, please do not hesitate to contact your BC Borstal Association.
Nathan Rock, Executive Director