While studying in the Criminal Justice program there are many volunteer opportunities for you to explore.
Volunteering in Victoria
While some students enter the Criminal Justice Program with a definite career goal in mind, many enter knowing only that they wish to work within the criminal justice field, but not in which specific occupation. One of the opportunities available to a student is being involved in a volunteer program specifically oriented towards the criminal justice system. Volunteering provides the "hands on" experience which cannot be obtained through taking an academic course alone. It also demonstrates your initiative and interest in the field and provides a reference for your resume. Many employers, in fact, require or expect applicants to have engaged in some volunteer experiences. Students should remember, however, that volunteer work requires dedication and time, especially if there is a training program involved. Sufficient time for reading, studying, and working on assignments must remain the top priority in the student's agenda.
Local volunteer agencies which may be particularly suited to a Criminal Justice student are listed below.
- Boy's & Girl's Club Services of Greater Victoria - Ph: 250-384-9133
Services provided: helping children and their families. Volunteers provide recreational, cultural, educational and social activities; assist in planning and implementation of programs and special events.
- Greater Victoria Victim Services - Ph: 250-995-7351
850 Caledonia Street Fax: 250-995-7320
Services provided: emotional and informational support to victims of crime as their case proceeds through court. Volunteers are required to have strong interpersonal skills, valid B.C. Driver's License, good driving record, no criminal record, professional appearance and maintain confidentiality.
- ROOTS - Youth & Family Substance Abuse Program - Ph: 250-721-2669
They look for volunteers occasionally for their day programs; call agency for an appointment.
- BC Families in Transition (formerly the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre) - Ph: 250-386-4331 - 730 Quadra Fax: 250-386-4301 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteers work in family court and office, 8 week training program (2 1/2 hours per week)
Volunteer requirements: good communication skills, enjoy the company of children, good sense of humour, able to set limits, tact and diplomacy, able to remain neutral, non-judgmental, respect confidentiality, mature.
- John Howard Society of Vancouver Island - Ph: 250-386-3428
2675 Bridge Street Fax: 250-361-4561
Services provided: support and referral services to offenders, ex-offenders and their families; weekly prison visiting programs.
- Dispute Resolution Centre - Ph: 250-383-4412
108 - 1218 Wharf Street Fax: 250-383-9536
- Greater Victoria Citizen's Counselling Centre - Ph: 250-384-9934
941 Kings Rd. Fax: 250-388-4391
Services provided: individual, couples and group counselling for adult residents of Greater Victoria; training and supervision of lay counsellors.
- NEED2: Suicide Prevention, Education and Support - Ph: 250-386-6328
230 Bay Street, Victoria BC, V9A 3K5 Fax: 250-386-9748
Services provided: emotional support, crisis counselling, and community referrals to youth through Youthspace.ca website. Volunteers can also be trained to deliver the school-based Suicide Awareness for Youth workshop. Volunteers receive 60 hours of training over a thirteen week period, you must be at least 19 years of age.
- Pacific Centre Family Services Assoc. - Ph: 250-478-8357
3221 Heatherbell Road Fax: 250-478-3699
Volunteers receive a 10 month training course; volunteers must do 200 hours of volunteer counselling time. Contact agency for more information.
- Salvation Army Family and Community Services - Ph: 250-386-8521
1911 Quadra Street Fax: 250-386-8527
Services provided: support to adult male offenders in halfway house setting
- Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre - Ph: 250-479-1621
4216 Wilkinson Road, ask for Program Dept.
- Victoria Area Parole Volunteer Program - Ph: 250-363-0105
Suite 101-1230 Government Street Contact: Honora Johannesen
Services provided: various to adult federal offenders and working on a variety of research-related projects.
- Victoria Cool Aid Society - Ph: 250-383-1977
469 Swift Street Email: email@example.com
Services provided: Streetlink Emergency Shelter provides assistance and shelter to the homeless, the mentally ill, and persons drug/alcohol dependent who are on the streets.
- Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre - Ph: 250-383-5545
2 flr, 754 Broughton St.
Only women are allowed to work on the crisis lines. Potential volunteers can drop into the agency to pick up an information package.
- Volunteer Victoria - Ph: 250-386-2269
211 - 620 View Street Fax: 250-386-2279 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Services provided: volunteers are matched with agencies in need according to interest and skills
- William Head Visitor's Program- Ph: 250-386-3428
(c\o John Howard Society) Fax: 250-361-4561
Services provided: volunteers visit prisoners at William Head for the purpose of providing social opportunities to persons incarcerated. Volunteers must be at least 19 years of age, need to be security cleared and to feel comfortable in a prison environment.
- YM/YWCA - Ph: 250-386-7511
880 Courtney Street
Volunteer work involves youth care/daycare. Volunteer profile forms/applications available at agency
- Victoria Youth Empowerment Society - Ph: 250-383-3514
533 Yates St. Fax: 250-383-3812
Services provided: storefront office with information, referrals, counselling, advocacy, employment search assistance and drop-in centre for youth in crisis. Volunteers must be at least 21 years of age; are subject to a criminal record check and interview. Volunteers must make a minimum six-month commitment.
- Various local Police Departments also have Auxiliary and Community Services programs:
- Central Saanich - Ph: 250-652-4441
- Colwood Detachment R.C.M.P. - Ph: 250-474-2264
- Oak Bay Police Department - Ph: 250-592-2424
- Saanich Police Department - Ph: 250-475-4321
- Victoria City Police Department - Ph: 250-995-7654
Summer Employment Opportunities are occasionally made available to students through agencies and departments related to the criminal justice system. The federal government, for example, offers student employment within their Customs Border Services. The Federal Student Employment Program receives applications during the late Fall for employment in the following summer. Applications for this program are available at the student employment centre and in the Criminal Justice office. Other summer employment opportunities exist with the local police departments who frequently hire students for special summer projects.
The Program Chair advises students when and where to apply for those positions, but it is up to the individual to pursue the positions. This information is also usually posted on the outer door of the Criminal Justice office.