Aboriginal youth are charting a new course in relations between the justice system and the communities in which they live. In 2016, the Feathers of Hope First Nations youth forum released their report, Justice and Juries—A First Nations Youth Action Plan for Justice. In it they shared a vision of justice that was respectful of […]Read more
Last summer, approximately 70 youth from four Ottawa neighbourhoods met with local police officers for an OJEN justice education program. The purpose of the program was to open communication between police and youth in communities where tension or conflict exists. Funded by Crime Prevention Ottawa and the Law Foundation of Ontario, this year’s Changing Course: […]
The OBA/OJEN Competitive Mock Trial Tournament (OOCMT) completed its fourth season last month, with record numbers of schools participating. Since it was launched in 2014-2015 school year, the number of schools enrolling in the program has grown from 87 to 175. Along with its popularity, the need for additional support at the local level, has […]
Youth-Police Dialogues, public legal education, and social change: An interview with Mara Clarke and Jessica Reekie
This interview has been cross-posted at the PLE Learning Exchange. It has been edited for flow. As sole-purpose PLEI (public legal education and information) organizations, we are constantly wrestling with the question of what PLEI can and can’t do. We hear a lot of questions from community workers about how we can use PLEI to […]
The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) announced in April that the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) has been approved for funding to expand our successful Youth-Police Dialogue program across the province. The $389,800 OTF grant will permit the program to be replicated in 14 Ontario communities within the next three years. Over 400 youth will have […]
Justice Margaret Ann Scott Receives the 2017 OJEN Chief Justices’ Award
On March 29th, Justice Margaret Scott became the 13th reipient of OJEN’s Chief Justices’ Award. The award recognizes her commitment to justice education in the Durham region. In 2002 she was the driving force behind the establishment of the Durham Public Legal Education Committee, which she has co-chaired for the past 15 years. Justice Scott is best known for the numerous visits she makes to speak to students in their classrooms and assist in their mock trial preparations. Her ongoing efforts to connect with students both in the courthouse and in their classrooms have put a human face on the justice system and contributed to greater understanding of its role in society.
Each year thousands of students pass through the doors of Ontario courthouses to observe the justice system in action. Enhancing courthouse visits, making the experience a positive and enriching one for high school students, was the initial concept that sparked the creation of the Ontario Justice Education Network. Courtrooms & Classrooms, OJEN’s flagship program, has grown to involve more than 70 courthouses province-wide. Thanks to the Courtrooms & Classrooms coordinators at these courthouses and the judiciary who volunteer their time, approximately 20,000 students enjoyed OJEN’s court visit program last year alone.
Justice Education Fellows meet for intensive skill development in facilitation and OJEN program models. Students at post-secondary campuses throughout Ontario have often played an important role in delivering OJEN’s justice education programming to youth in their communities. In 2017 OJEN established Justice Education Fellowships to formalize the post-secondary outreach program in Ontario’s law schools. Six […]
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.
By establishing mutually beneficial partnerships with justice sector institutions, schools, community organizations, government agencies and countless individuals, our small organization is able to leverage big results.
OJEN programs and classroom resources build legal capability in young people by helping them develop key knowledge and skills that make them more confident and effective when engaging with the justice system.