Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN)
I’m amazed at the impact this program can have in only six weeks… It changed my life. I left understanding the justice system a whole lot more. I felt there was more hope for justice, hope for change, hope for it to be different, hope for positive.
– Jacquie Dyer – Participant in Toronto Community Housing Mock Trial Project
Founded in 2002, the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN) is a non-profit, charitable organization. We bring together leading institutions and individuals from the legal and education sectors to collaborate on initiatives designed to foster public understanding and dialogue about the justice system. With the commitment of 1200+ volunteers, including judges from all levels of the courts, members of the bar, court staff, legal aid clinics, law schools, teachers, and community representatives, OJEN reaches over 200,000 youth across the province each year.
What is Justice Education?
Justice education goes beyond providing young people with information about rights and legal procedures; it creates opportunities for open and honest conversations with people who work within the legal system. We help youth build the knowledge and skills they will need to manage the legal aspects of everyday problems – including how to tell when a problem has a legal dimension, when and where to ask for help, and how to keep small problems from becoming big ones. We also work to make sure the justice sector is listening to the public, by creating opportunities for open and honest conversations between legal system workers and youth.
OJEN’s justice education programs focus on experiential learning activities such as mock hearings, youth-police dialogues and diverse interactive legal workshops. We provide tailored, culturally relevant outreach programs to Aboriginal, Francophone, newcomer and high-risk communities across the province of Ontario.