Compensatory Work Program
The Compensatory Work Program is intended to humanize the collection of fines by offering adult citizens an alternative to paying off fines they can’t afford.
The Compensatory Work Program at the YMCAs of Québec is designed for adults who are unable to pay their fines. This program gives them a chance to pay off their debt by working for non-profit organizations, giving municipal and provincial courts an alternative way to manage cases that are difficult to collect.
The Compensatory Work Program personnel keep a database of community partner organizations that can provide their clients with work hours. Government, religious, and community organizations are all eligible. Participants work in food banks, parishes, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, organizations that defend basic rights, foundations, etc.
The Compensatory Work Program is an option the collector can use when it is obvious that the guilty party is unable to pay. Participants are persons who have little or no income and may be unable to find a job. Using an individualized approach, the Compensatory Work Program offers participants a clear, structured framework that helps them understand their obligations, rights, and responsibilities with regard to their debt. It tries to balance participants’ needs with the needs of the agencies involved, while remaining within the framework of the law.
All participants are paired with an advisor who is responsible for ensuring that they honour their debt. In a one-on-one meeting, the advisor obtains the necessary information to make an appropriate placement. When the placement is made, the advisor stays in touch with the supervisor and monitors the case closely. The advisor must report the results of the work to the court that offered the participant this option so they could discharge their debt, or take further measures to resolve the matter with the participant if they have not fulfilled their obligations.
The YMCAs of Québec manage the Compensatory Work Program for the Montreal and Québec regions. The latter includes the judicial districts of the Capitale-Nationale, Beauce, Montmagny, and Frotenac. Annually, the compensatory work program provides more than 300,000 man-hours to some 800 agencies that are partnered with the program.
For more information about the program in the Montreal and Québec regions, please contact Marc Harrelle at the Downtown Y centre, 514-849-8062, ext. 2274.