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Minister MacKay Announces Funding to Train Youth Custody and Detention Staff to Work With Gang Involved Young Offenders

Funding support to help youth contribute positively to their communities

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/15/14 -- Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $600,000 in funding to the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services' Youth Justice Division. The funding is supporting their "Strategy to Assess and Manage Youth Involved with Gangs in Ontario" project, which will help provide education and training to custody staff to understand and work with youth in gangs and to deliver "Road to Redemption," a youth gang exit and rehabilitation program.

This funding, under the Youth Justice Initiative, encourages a fair and effective youth justice system, responds to emerging youth justice issues, and enables greater citizen and community participation in the youth justice system, thereby promoting a holistic approach to helping youth.

Quick Facts

- Ontario's Strategy to Assess and Manage Youth Involved in Gangs is a three-year project that helps rehabilitate young offenders involved in gangs and reintegrate them into society and their communities.

- The program hires youth gang experts to train and build capacity amongst youth justice custody and detention staff. This allows the staff to:

--Develop training and educational materials;

--Become provincial trainers who provide education and training to staff across the youth justice sector on how to understand and work with youth in gangs; and

--Enhance and deliver the Road to Redemption program, a gang exit and rehabilitation program.

- $600,000 is being provided over three fiscal years - 2012-13, 2013-2014 and 2014-15.

- 32 trainers will be able to provide education and training to approximately 400 youth justice staff in custody and detention facilities on how to support gang involved youth.

- Aboriginal- and female-specific education and training materials are also developed.

- The funding is being provided through the Youth Justice Fund's Guns, Gangs and Drugs component, which responds to youth involved in the justice system who are involved in, or vulnerable to, gun-, gang- and drug-related activities.

- The Government is taking a multi-pronged approach to crime, by supporting projects such as this one to help reduce victimization by rehabilitating and reintegrating young offenders, as well as by introducing transformational legislation to create a Canadian Victims Bill of Rights that would create, at the federal level, clear rights for victims of crime - a first in Canadian history.

Quotes

"Giving tools to help young offenders grow and become more positive and productive members of society is a priority for communities across Canada, and especially here in the Greater Toronto Area. Programs such as these play an important role in strengthening the capacity of our youth justice system to rehabilitate young offenders who are involved with gangs and help reduce crime. Our Government is proud to continue supporting these types of programs that help youth make better choices and which make our communities safer and better places in which to live, grow and raise our families and which also help keep our justice system balanced, relevant, and effective."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"Keeping youth off the streets and out of gangs is an important part of our Government's strategy to keep our streets safe. This funding will go a long way for the City of Mississauga and the Province of Ontario."

Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice

Related Products

Backgrounder: Youth Justice Fund

Associated Links

Department of Justice: Youth Justice Fund

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Youth Justice

Follow Department of Justice Canada on Twitter (@JusticeCanadaEn), join us on Facebook or visit our YouTube channel.

BACKGROUNDER

Youth Justice Fund

The Youth Justice Fund was established in the 1990s as part of the Youth Justice Renewal Initiative, and provides grants and contributions funding for projects across Canada. The Youth Justice Fund has a budget of approximately $4.5 million each year.

The Youth Justice Fund has three components:

--  The Main Fund supports a broad range of projects relating to youth
    involved in the justice system. Current funding priorities include youth
    with mental health issues and/or cognitive impairments. The Main Fund
    can also provide support to respond to emerging youth justice issues.

--  The Drug Treatment component supports drug treatment interventions for
    youth involved in the justice system who are dealing with drug abuse.

--  The Guns, Gangs and Drugs component responds to youth involved in the
    justice system who are involved in, or vulnerable to, gun-, gang- and
    drug-related activities.


The Youth Justice Initiative is a multi-faceted approach that includes a legislative framework (the Youth Criminal Justice Act) and programming resources that:

--  Encourage a more fair and effective youth justice system;

--  Respond to emerging youth justice issues; and

--  Enable greater citizen/community participation in the youth justice
    system by encouraging partnerships and innovations, and developing and
    sharing information and knowledge about youth justice.


Community organizations, Aboriginal organizations, and individuals have been, and will continue to be, eligible for funding to help develop community-based programming options and partnerships that respond more effectively and in a more meaningful manner to youth in conflict with the law. Funding support is also used to advance changes in provincial/territorial policies and programs that are consistent with the intent of federal policy objectives.

The Youth Justice Fund supports the development, implementation, and evaluation of pilot projects that provide programming and services for youth in conflict with the law. It supports professional development activities, such as training and conferences, for justice professionals and youth service providers. Additionally, it funds research on the youth justice system and related issues.

Projects must target youth who are between the ages of 12 and 17 and currently in conflict with the law, or justice professionals and/or service providers who work with these youth.

To learn more about the Youth Justice Fund, please visit www.canada.justice.gc.ca/youth.

Contacts:
Paloma Aguilar
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice
613-992-4621

Media Relations Office
Department of Justice
613-957-4207

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