The Adult General Alternative Measures Program (AGAMP) allows a person who is accused of a crime to take responsibility for their actions and avoid facing the traditional criminal justice system. They could be asked to make amends to victims who chose to participate or to the community at large. The offender may also have to make amends to victims or the community.
Only certain crimes are eligible for the program
The AGAMP program only covers crimes that are generally considered “less serious”. For example, a theft or an assault that did not cause any injury.
Sexual violence, crimes committed against vulnerable persons, or in the context of an intimate relationship are not eligible.
The prosecutor must then assess various factors to determine whether the offender’s participation in the program is in the best interests of society and the victim.
The offender’s acceptance of their responsibility is essential
If the prosecutor decides to admit the offender to the program, the offender can choose to participate or not. To do so, they must also admit responsibility for all or part of the charges against them.
The offender’s acceptance of responsibility during the program cannot be used against them during a trial, if one ever takes place.
Does the victim wish to participate?
The victim will be contacted by CAVAC (crime victim assistance centre) to see if they wish to participate in the AGAMP. Victims are not required to participate and can refuse for any reason. However, the prosecutor may decide to continue without the victim’s participation.
If the victim agrees to participate, they will be consulted throughout the process. Victims can be accompanied throughout the program and can contact a local victim’s assistance organization or CAVAC with any concerns or fears that they might have.
The offender must take part in alternative measures
A community organization trained in restorative justice will decide the appropriate alternative measures based on the situation and the victim’s desire to participate or not.
Offenders will be given a plan of action that they must carry out. This could mean:
- participating in mediation
- doing community work
- repairing the harm to the victim
- undergoing treatment or counselling, or
- taking a course or seminar.
However, other types of measures may be ordered depending on the situation.
The offender who completes the program will not have a criminal record
Charges are dismissed when the offender successfully completes the alternative measures. This means that the criminal justice process will end, and that the offender will not have a criminal record.
In general, the criminal justice process resumes if the accused person discontinues the program.