St. Michael kids watch justice in action

Justin Crann
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The crowd in courtroom one at the Moose Jaw provincial courthouse was a lot younger than usual Tuesday morning.

Approximately two dozen students belonging to Jason Fisher's Grade 8 class from St. Michael School sat in the courtroom gallery to take in the morning's proceedings as part of a program run by Moose Jaw's Regional Intersectoral Committee.

"It's a program in the schools called Primary Crime Prevention. It is targeted at Grades 4 to 8," said Greg Veillard, who was overseeing the visit. "It's fully sanctioned by both of the school divisions (in Moose Jaw)."

The program consists of "a number of presentations" — usually three — covering different aspects of criminal law, he explained. Those aspects range from property crimes to crimes against the person.

Particularly interested classes can be given the chance to sit in on an actual day of court.

The class in the courtroom on Tuesday was selected because they "showed a lot of extra interest and asked questions," Veillard noted.

"This is a chance for them to see the criminal justice system in action," he said. "We talk about it and we have Powerpoint (presentations), but this is, of course, the real thing."

The goal of the project is straightforward.

"It's to reduce and prevent crime, both now and in the future, when they're 20, 30, 40 or 50 years old," said Veillard. "The more you teach young people about the law, the more it serves as a preventative measure."

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Organizations: Michael School, Regional Intersectoral Committee, Powerpoint

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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