In Person Profile Ariel

10 Jan, 2013

The Sou’Wester is pleased to introduce Ariel Prado who was recently appointed CoSA Project Associate for MSCM’s CoSA-Project Division. Ariel has also been a very active volunteer since the Fall of 2008.

Q. Congratulations on your new appointment! Could you explain to our readers exactly what your role and responsibilities are?

A. Thanks! The position is centred around supporting both the Project Coordinator, Peter, and the Data Coordinator, Anouk. Most of the work I’ve done so far has had to do with the data coordination. It’s not particularly exciting work. There’s a national study going on right now, and as part of that study the NCPC (National Crime Prevention Centre) is looking for statistics regarding the circles that operate under MSCM. My job has been to help Anouk with recording those statistics. However, my role is meant to be a supportive one, so my responsibilities are fairly flexible.

Q. How and when did you find out about MSCM?

A. I first found out about MSCM in the Fall of my first year in Montreal. I was in a class with my friend Becca, who had just started coming to Open Door.

At some point I told her that I was interested in studying alternatives to prisons and she insisted that I come to Open Door and start looking into restorative justice ideas. I was lucky in that a number of friends I’d already made were interested as well. So I started coming in the Fall of 2008 and have been volunteering with MSCM ever since.

Q. We understand you have a very deep interest in restorative justice. What other programs have you been involved in?

A. My interest in restorative justice has helped to shape my perspective over the years. I’ve grown to recognize that restorative (or transformative) justice is really about restoring and transforming communities. With this realization, I’ve come to focus on the nature of relations between people as paramount.

I was involved in the formation of the Alternative University Project, a project comprised of a group of students interested in, among many things, redefining the relationships between teachers and students. I’ve volunteered my time with various organizations at this point, but the work I really enjoy doing is work that focuses on healing and often redefining the relationships between different people.

Q. How does your volunteer work with MSCM fit in with your ultimate career goals?

A. At this point, I’m not sure what my ultimate career goals are. I know that I want to work with people, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how. I can say that I’ve grown less and less enchanted with the realm of policy-making. I’m happiest when I’m working on a local level, with a community that I can understand through regular interaction as opposed to statistics and polling. But I don’t know what kind of work I’ll be doing a few years from now. I’m definitely not a career- centred person, at least not right now.

Q. What advice would you have for anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer?

A. Advice for volunteers? Come check out Open Door! It offers a pretty incredible chance for volun- teers to meet with a lot of great people with pretty amazing stories. Open Door is a great way to get involved with MSCM for volunteers who might be just starting to think about the way that the criminal justice system affects our communities and the individuals within those communities.

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