Convicted offender reveals all on camera prior to sentence


The project is experimental and the only one of its kind — criminal offenders bearing their secrets and souls on video for the public to view and comment.

The man at the centre of this pilot project, “The Way Out,” is Jean-Claude Auger, a Kamloops man who has already served time for aggravated assault and is still before the courts for drug trafficking and other related charges. Auger has agreed to the project in the hopes that it will help with his rehabilitation.

Jean-Claude Auger.

Jean-Claude Auger.

Mastermind Studios, in collaboration with Michael Koehn, a registered clinical counsellor, Shawn Wiesner, a former corrections officer and master certified success coach and Jean-Claude Auger, a penal serving offender, have collaborated to develop a “Way Out.”

With his defence attorney’s approval, this is the first time online video with viewer engagement has been released publicly prior to an offender’s court sentencing. It is now accessible online at with the intention of educating and encouraging public engagement in order to create meaningful changes within the current judicial and corrections systems.

“There are people that belong in the traditional criminal justice system and there are people that deserve to have a Way Out. There are people that deserve to have options and opportunities because they’re willing to earn them,” said Michael Koehn.

A Way Out has already experienced success. To date, the project has empowered Auger to serve the objectives of the criminal justice process: to denounce his crimes, deter further offences and provide sustainable rehabilitation.

Because these objectives have been met, a judge presiding over his charges for aggravated assault and assault causing bodily harm reduced Auger’s sentence to a mandatory minimum sentence (with no parole required and time-served on weekends), as opposed to the one year of jail-time with an additional two years of parole recommended by the prosecution.

The team who have collaborated to create a Way Out intend to carry on with the project to create meaningful reform through the development of an accredited curriculum for criminal reform as well as certified criminal reform coaching.

“I hope to open up this whole avenue of conversation. I don’t want to be part of the problem. I want to be part of the solution,” said Auger.

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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