Program aims to seize and liquidate criminal assets, redirect proceeds to public safety projects
Manitoba has announced that it is investing over $2.3 million through the criminal property forfeiture program to fund safety and crime prevention initiatives and services that aim to prevent or reduce crime and to improve safety for Manitoban communities.
“Our government is pleased to provide this funding to organizations across Manitoba whose important initiatives continue to build community, invest in youth and support victims of crime,” said Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s justice minister, on May 20.
The criminal property forfeiture program seeks to seize and liquidate criminal assets and to redirect the proceeds of crime to projects promoting public safety.
The forfeiture program’s distributions for 2021 include $100,000 for Candace House’s Healing Haven and Safe and Informed Spaces programs that aim to support victims and survivors of crime; $10,000 for Rossbrook House Inc.’s programs that seek to prevent involvement in the criminal justice system and to offer opportunities for overcoming systemic levels of poverty, racism and inequity; $20,000 for the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s initiatives to protect children from sexual victimization and to reduce crime; $25,000 for Altona Youth for Christ’s expansion plans for the creation of a “maker space” area for at-risk youth; and $33,000 to KIDTHINK Children’s Mental Health Centre Inc.’s SNAP program that aims to provide children and their caregivers interventions for ending the cycle of violence.
Friesen said that, also through the forfeiture program, $17,000 will go to the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, in light of the recent death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The awards seek to offer a framework to advance the personal development of at-risk youth who have been incarcerated and released by focusing on their physical recreation, skills and voluntary service so that they can work toward becoming contributing members of society.
Victim Services will receive $500,000 via the forfeiture program to support numerous victim support and community initiatives, added Friesen.
The criminal property forfeiture program, established in 2009, has since distributed funds of over $19 million to Manitoban communities and $3.5 million to Victim Services. These funds have benefited at-risk or disadvantaged youth in northern communities, who have received access to sports and gym equipment, outdoor clothing, camping equipment, arts and craft materials and musical instruments for various activities.
The funding has also financed numerous events, in which communities and the police have participated, including activities focusing on reconciliation, healing and cultural camps and domestic violence prevention workshops.