The Bail Program would like to acknowledge the support of Judges, Justices of the Peace, Crown Attorneys and Defense Counsel, the Waterloo Regional Police Service, Probation Officers, community justice and social service agencies throughout Waterloo Region.
We welcome advice about ways to maintain and enhance the relevance of this pre-trial alternative to detention.
Welcome, About us
In the early 1970’s an organization called Young People in Legal Difficulty was launched in Kitchener-Waterloo for youth aged 12-25 years of age. This organization was brought about through the inspiration and tenacity of one Margaret Day.
Margaret Day spent 2 days in detention for refusing (on principle) to pay a traffic ticket. While detained in custody, Margaret met a number of youth and discovered many of whom had few community connections and were being held for weeks and months pending a trial for relatively minor offences.
Following her release from custody, Margaret sought to right what she felt at the time was an injustice. Her solution was to establish a “bail hostel” in Waterloo and offer bail supervision to the Waterloo Region Court System as a potential form of release. This original program ran into financial, jurisdictional, personal and political problems, which led to its demise within a year or two.
In 1976, out of the ashes of Young People in Legal Difficulty, former colleagues and staff of the program created a new community organization called Youth in Conflict with the Law, which continued to offer bail supervision to youth. This program was maintained through charitable donations and occasional government grants until 1979, at which point the program was offered the opportunity to participate in a pilot project sponsored by the provincial Ministry of Corrections. It built on the experiences of Youth in Conflict with the Law in Waterloo Region and extended the program in order to offer bail supervision to adults of all ages. Bail programs expanded to offer bail supervision in Hamilton, St. Catharines and Toronto. Waterloo Region was funded as the Waterloo Region Bail Program, which ran concurrently Youth in Conflict with the Law.
Today the two programs, Youth in Conflict with the Law and the Waterloo Region Bail Program are operated under the banner of Community Resources for People in Conflict with the Law, a non-profit charitable organization that incorporated in 2002. Though the incorporated name is changed, the Waterloo Region Court System still refers to the organization by its original name, Youth in Conflict with the Law.