New volunteer program aims to help victims navigate court system

New Brunswick's Department of Justice is rolling out a pilot program aimed at helping vulnerable victims navigate the court system.

Justice Minister Denis Landry says going to court can be a traumatic experience for victims of crime, particularly children and that the program is meant to assist victims so they understand the court process and not feel like they are alone.

The Bathurst-East-Nepisiguit-Saint-Isidore MLA says volunteers will provide support by explaining the court process, answering questions and accompany victims to court to provide support during testimony.

The program aims to serve children under the age of 18, as well as those with mental, intellectual, or physical disabilities and will help victims based on the nature of the crime, such as intimate partner violence.

The program will begin in Fredericton, Oromocto and Woodstock and run for a period of one year before being expanded to the rest of the province.

Applications for volunteers are now being accepted.

Any New Brunswicker aged 19 and up, with a high school diploma is eligible to volunteer and will be asked to submit to a criminal background check.

There will also be a process in place to train volunteers.