Manitoba Criminal Justice AssociationManitoba Criminal Justice Association
The Manitoba Criminal Justice Association (MCJA) was founded in November 1969 by four local members of the then Canadian Corrections Association (now the Correctional Service Canada). At this inaugural meeting of the MCJA, originally called the Manitoba Society of Criminology Inc., the purpose was to explore the interest and need for a multi-disciplinary society focused on the field of corrections. The immediate interest and participation of a widely representative group of individuals involved in corrections in Manitoba confirmed the appropriateness of such an organization. A steering committee was chosen to begin detailed organization of the society.
The MCJA was founded on a strong commitment to involve and reflect the views of people from all areas of the criminal justice system, and to address problems arising within this system. The Association set out to become a forum where those from all disciplines and professions concerned with crime and corrections could meet to exchange ideas and express opinions in order to broaden their own knowledge and experience, as well as that of the general public. The original objectives were:
- to encourage cooperation among all individuals and groups in the Province of Manitoba interested in problems that derive from criminal and delinquent behaviour;
- to study the problems posed by the administration of justice, prevention of crime, protection, probation and parole, correctional institutions, and of related groups, agencies and services concerned with the treatment of offenders;
- to develop public understanding of the above problems;
- to encourage criminological research.
The MCJA pursued these objectives in as vigorous and diverse a fashion as possible given the limitations of its budget and a voluntary Board of Directors, executive officers and committee members. It held a variety of public seminars, meetings and conferences, as well as engaging in special projects and consultations at both at its own initiative and at the request of the provincial and federal governments, in cooperation with other non-governmental organizations.
It is notable that the MCJA has been and continues to be the only inter-disciplinary forum in the area of criminal justice in Manitoba. It represents non-partisan positions, providing an opportunity for a synthesis of opinions from all areas of corrections, irrespective of profession, program or employment affiliation. This position of independence and neutrality places the Association in an ideal position to act as a consultant to government, as well as an information conduit between the criminal justice field, agencies and legislators.
In 1975, the MCJA became incorporated as a non-profit organization.