The 2012 National Ron Wiebe Restorative Justice Award Recipient

Corporal James Cooley

Corporal James Cooley

Originally from the Tsimshian Nation in British Columbia, Corporal Jim Cooley exemplifies restorative beliefs in life and work. He has been a restorative justice advocate since being appointed to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Terrace, B.C in 1998 when he began volunteering to facilitate Community Justice Forums (CJF) while mentoring and training others interested in restorative justice.

Cpl. Cooley was one of the first in Canada to be officially certified as a CJF Facilitator with the RCMP. He has facilitated over 150 CJF sessions across Canada, many for Aboriginal and First Nations communities. He has trained over 1,000 new facilitators, and continues to serve as a CJF mentor. Cpl. Cooley was also responsible for developing and certifying CJF course material used by facilitators and establishing the CJF National Standards.

Cpl. Cooley is an active presence in restorative justice, recognized not only for his work with the RCMP, but rather a recognizable asset and champion across Canada and beyond. As a result, he was awarded the Minister of Justice – National Youth Justice Award in 2008 for his display of excellence and innovation in employing restorative practices when dealing with young offenders.

Cpl. Cooley has worked with almost every Aboriginal community across B.C. to raise awareness about traditional ways of peacemaking and healing from conflict and harm. He has also exhibited innovation when dealing with youth in conflict with the law. Cpl. Cooley is often called upon for his mediation skills and has trained police officers in Abu Dhabi, the United States of America, Australia, and academics from Jerusalem.

Cpl. Cooley works with local Mayors, Council members, and businesses to initiate restorative justice processes to address crime and reintegrate offenders into their communities. He never loses sight of his firm belief that restorative action can promote safe and healthy families and communities.

Cpl. Cooley is described as having a kind personality, a great sense of humour, and an incredible ability to connect with people of all ages from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Cpl. Cooley’s numerous contributions to a growing awareness of restorative justice will be evident for years to come; as his dedication, passion and persistence in this field are continually expressed.