Free universities, alternative courts: a focus on those with fewer lawyers


By providing higher education, British Columbia has committed to giving former adoptive children a gentler reward from government care. And in one Colorado county, courts keep an eye on drug and alcohol cases by prescribing a recovery program.

1. Canada

Tuition exemption programs help people raised in the childcare system access higher education in British Columbia. About 850 people leave government care in the Canadian province each year. These young adults – who are disproportionately indigenous – experience higher homelessness rates, lower incomes, and worse educational outcomes than their non-governmental assistance counterparts. More and more universities and government agencies are trying to address these disparities by removing financial barriers to higher education.

Why did we write this?

In our progress summary, resources focus on people with fewer supporters: young adults coming out of foster care and repeat offenders in need of care.

The first school to forgo tuition for former adoptive youths was Vancouver Island University in 2013, followed by the University of British Columbia (UBC). In 2017, the province made tuition fee waivers available in all 25 publicly funded tertiary schools in the province for applicants aged 19 to 26 who had spent at least two years in care. In the past four years, around 1,700 young people have been able to attend school in British Columbia without tuition. This year’s tax-exempt fees of approximately US $ 2.4 million will more than double the amount exempted in 2017. Some universities offer additional support, including priority housing, flexible admission policies, and help applying for scholarships. “A tuition waiver does a lot more for young people in care than just covering school fees,” said Verukah Poirier, who grew up in the welfare system and now attends law school at UBC after graduating from college. degree with the support of a tuition waiver. “Having that program in place has given me the confidence and security to go to school too.”
Education is important

2. United States

In Eagle County, Colorado, problem-solving courts (PSCs) are keeping relapse rates low while helping people with substance use disorders. Born out of necessity when the war on drugs flooded criminal courts in the early 1990s, PSCs use treatment and rehabilitation for substance abuse as a way to fight crime.

The RISE (Recover Invest Succeed Excel) Court, which focuses on drunk driving, and the Recovery Court, which deals with other drug or alcohol-related offenses, were established as a single court in 2009 and they separated in 2013. Applicants for this alternative justice pathway must meet certain criteria and coordinators say they are on the lookout for repeat offenders facing severe jail terms and requiring significant levels of treatment. After being voted on by a PSC committee, participants have a time-consuming catch-up program that includes community services, regular check-ups with a judge, care by health professionals, drug testing, and a variety of penalties and rewards for children. errors or milestones. According to the Eagle County Justice Center, 94.3% of RISE Court attendees and 93.5% of Recovery Court attendees achieved sobriety, and approximately 84% of college graduates remained crime-free for at least five years. after the program.
Go to the day, National Institute of Justice


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