Grande Prairie Community Youth Intervention Program

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					  Grande Prairie Community
  Youth Intervention Program
A Safe Communities Initiative

Crystal Hincks
Research Associate
Centre for Criminology and Justice
Research- Mount Royal University
Safe Communities Initiatives
• Collaborative effort between provincial and
  municipal governments, law enforcement
  agencies, community groups, the business
  sector, and social agencies in Alberta
• Focus on developing long-term solutions to
  reduce crime and create safer communities
 ▫ Prevention, enforcement, treatment
• $60 million dollars distributed annually to
  30 programs in order to address multiple
  crime issues and target groups
        Target Issues & Groups
• 14 (47%) projects deal with at-risk youth and 6 (20%) deal with at-risk
• 7 (23%) projects respond to those with addictions and mental health
• 4 (13%) projects utilize multi-disciplinary response teams
• 6 (20%) projects focus on community engagement in high needs areas
• 14 (47%) projects have an Aboriginal focus (both on and off reserve)
• 12 (40%) projects are using a model (proven) program to preventing crime
• 6 (20%) projects address family violence and 3 (10%) deal with sexual
• 4 (13%) projects address the needs of offenders
• 11 (37%) projects enhance access to treatment services
• 9 (30%) projects respond to at-risk students
• 3 (10%) projects respond to crises in the community
• 9 (30%) projects focus on the needs of diverse cultures and 3 (10%) deal
  with immigrant and refugee needs
• 25 (83%) projects focus on crime prevention and 4 (13%) deal with
• 5 (17%) projects focus on gang prevention
• 2 (7%) projects focus on at-risk homeless populations
Grande Prairie Program Overview
• Restorative measures modeled after the
  Ottawa Community Youth Diversion
  Program (est. 1975)
• Goal: implement a community led program which will
 provide police officers with the tools to identify youth
 who are at risk to offend…[and] direct the youths to
 community resources that best address the factors that
 fuel their conduct/behaviour as well as addressing
 reparation needs when applicable
• Scope: offering non-punitive justice
  options for youth aged 12-17 who come
  into contact with the Grande Prairie
Program Continued…
• Addresses the needs of youth and their
  families by referring them to various
 ▫   Mental health
 ▫   Addictions
 ▫   Learning services
 ▫   Family services
• Referrals typically come from the RCMP,
  but have started to come from schools and
  the families themselves.
• All youth and their families are served by a
  single program coordinator
 ▫ Completes assessment, referral, follow-up
      Evaluation of Year One
• Goals for Year One:
 ▫ 50 participants
 ▫ Train RCMP officers to complete referrals
 ▫ Network with relevant agencies
• Methodology
 ▫ Qualitative interviews- program staff,
   stakeholders, parents
 ▫ Quantitative data analysis- statistics on
 ▫ Social return on investment- social value
• Positive feedback from interviews with
  stakeholders, program staff, and parents
 ▫ Overall impression was that Grande Prairie
   was in definite need of a youth
   intervention/diversion program
• Creation of a unified network within the
• Referral of 101 youth to various
  community resources (just over double
  their anticipated goal)
 ▫ Change in scope and mandate
            Number of Youth Referred to Each Intevention Method

                                               Mental Health (20)
                                               Counselling (62)
                                               Support Groups (18)
                                               Drug / Alcohol Issues (12)
                                               Cognitive Disabilities (4)
        4                                      Recreation (2)
                                               School Support - Educational (1)
                                               Employment (1)
                                               Restorative Justice (18)
        1                                      School Support- Emotional (4)
    2        4
1                     12                       No Intervention (29)
                                               Intervention Not Grouped (12)
Social Return on Investment
• Achieved a return of $4.96 for every
  $1 invested
 ▫ Program budget of $304,204 saved
   $1,509,256 in the long run
 ▫ $464,416 in police costs
 ▫ $730,000 in correctional service costs
• Not to be compared with other
 ▫ Individual program narrative
• Goals for future years is simply growth
Growing Pains
• Constant changes to
  mandate and goals
• Utilization of all programs
  and services
• Lack of knowledge about
• Partnership with the RCMP
 ▫ Movement from detachment
• Preparing for sustainability
 ▫ Program is clearly needed
Future of SCIF programs…
• Avoidance of ‘death by pilot program’
 ▫ Creating sustainability
• Development of new and unique
 ▫ Overlapping of services
• Funding of research initiatives to
  determine current and future needs

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