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Sask. organizations to help people in gangs with new provincial funds
REGINA -- The Ministry of Corrections and Policing has announced an investment of $4.5 million into two community organizations as part of its Gang-Violence Reduction Strategy.
The two organizations involved, STR8 Up and Regina Treaty Status Indian Services Inc. (RT/SIS), will provide “outreach, intervention and prevention services to help people leave gangs, and reintegrate back into their communities.”
The funds will be doled out over a four-year period.
“Any attempt or work we can do on helping and providing supports to those that have an interest in leaving gang life is a positive step forward that impacts all of us in society and can have a significant impact on community safety as a whole and as a province we need to take that approach, whether we’re in policing or we’re in one of the support agencies or even as community members, we need to understand that vulnerability and the face that things such as employment and housing are a huge contributor to try and provide incentive for people to leave gang life," Mark Fisher, Assistant Commissioner of RCMP Saskatchewan said.
The groups will deliver what the Community Intervention Model; something the province calls a “key pillar” of the strategy.
STR8 Up will work with communities in the central and northern parts of the province, while RT/SIS will work with communities in the southern part of the province. Altogether it’s expected that the organizations will provide services to around 100 gang-involved peoples over the next four years.
“When people are given appropriate opportunity, they can make true change, for themselves and their family,” RT/SIS Executive Director Erica Beaudin said. “The result is less crime and increased safety in our homes and communities which benefits all of us. We thank the Government of Saskatchewan for supporting our model of transformation which brings people beyond survival responses of poverty and violence.”
This strategy also includes extending the Dedicated Substance Abuse Treatment Units into more correctional facilities and redistributing provincial police services to Crime Reduction Teams in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.