Youth and local police officers learn from each others knowledge and experiences.
OJEN turned 15 this year!
Since 2002, our programs and resources have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people throughout Ontario. And we’re just getting started! Looking ahead to 2018 and beyond we’re excited about opportunities to expand our justice education initiatives to new youth audiences. We know that providing young people with the legal life skills to navigate their world is one important factor contributing to greater access to justice.
Between now and the end of 2017, we’ll be posting 15 of our most significant achievements – reasons we think you’ll want to give us an extra-special year-end present!
Donate $15 or $150 …or more! Read all 15 reasons why your donation to OJEN will make a difference.
OJEN programs facilitate greater access to justice.
“A judge has to get out of his office and be involved – not politically – but listening to the community and letting them tell you what their concerns are.”
Judge of the Ontario Court of Justice and OJEN volunteer
“I have gotten to know judges, justices of the peace, lawyers – just to have a conversation – through school. And that experience has changed a lot – changed my whole opinion about the justice sector.”
Youth participant from an OJEN program
OJEN focuses on building legal capability in youth. We provide young people with opportunities to develop key knowledge and skills that will enable them to be more confident and effective when they encounter the justice system – from navigating a legal dispute, to using the law to effect social change. Knowing where to go for legal help and having the comfort or confidence to interact with legal institutions and the people who work within them – are key components to effectively accessing the justice system.
But building legal capability in justice system users is only one way to facilitate access to justice. Those who work within the justice system can help facilitate greater access to justice by learning more about the justice system user’s experience. OJEN’s approach to justice education emphasizes connecting youth with legal professionals. Bringing Crown and defense lawyers, judges, justices of the peace and others from the justice sector, together with the communities they serve, creates a reciprocal learning opportunity. Justice sector volunteers share their knowledge and experience with the justice system. Youth participants, in turn, share their lived experiences and knowledge of their communities. As a result, both volunteers and youth learn from each other and build better relationships.
OJEN facilitates greater access to justice in Ontario by building legal capability in young people and providing opportunities for legal professionals to learn from communities. This is the fifteenth (and last!) Reason to Give to OJEN’s 15th Birthday Campaign.