Youth Justice Services

The ministry provides evidence-informed programs and services that adhere to the research and evidence of effective interventions to reduce re-offending and address the needs and risks of special populations. Programs and services specifically target needs associated with re-offending, focus on the strengths of youth, aim to increase youth academic and/or vocational achievements, and hold youth accountable while recognizing the developmental stages of youth.

Integration of youth justice within the broader children and youth system responds to research about building foundations for healthy child and youth development. Youth justice policies and services support healthy engagement and inclusion of youth.

Some examples of effective programming include:

  • Implementation of a Probation Strategy to strengthen and position the delivery of probation services in support of the ministry's mandate and strategic goals. The Strategy is based on the research associated with reduced re-offending as well as the broader research on healthy development, youth resiliency and youth diversity, and inclusion;
  • Providing a continuum of evidence-informed programs and services that address prevention, diversion, reintegration, rehabilitation for youth in, or at risk of, conflict with the law;
  • Using research about the effectiveness of positive and professional staff/youth interactions to support a Relationship Custody approach in youth centres and deliver training for staff in custody/detention facilities and probation that supports assessing and using a youth's strengths as an effective way of working with youth; and
  • Implementation of the Youth Justice Outcomes Framework to comprehensively measure, demonstrate, and improve the impact of services on youth.

In 2013-14, the average daily count in Youth Justice was 6,961 (6,549 community/probation caseload, 155 in open custody/detention and 257 in secure custody/detention).

Performance Measure: Number of youth who re-offend as a percentage of all youths tracked (Fiscal Year).

The re-offending data presented below is based on a 24-month tracking of two cohorts of youth. The cohorts include: youth who completed an open and/or secure custody order of six months or more and youth who completed a probation order. The number of youth in each cohort may fluctuate.

Year Custody 6+ months Probation Orders
09-10 Target 63.5% 37.5%
Actual 62.4% 35.6%
10-11 Target 62.4% 35.6%
Actual 58.7% 34.5%
11-12 Target 58.7% 34.5%
Actual 56.2% 35.9%
12-13 Target 56.2% 35.9%
Actual 63.5% 35.9%
13-14 Target 63.5% 35.9%
Actual 54.2% 32.7%
14-15 Target 54.2% 32.7%

* Parameters for performance measurement are impacted by a decrease in the custody cohort size year over year. (i.e., cohort has reduced from 251 for the 2011-12 study, to 203 for 2013-14. For the majority of youth in the justice system, (those serving their sentences in the community and not in custody), the re-offending rate has not increased.
**To address the reduction in the custody cohort, the ministry is undertaking a review of the current reporting measurement for re-offending.
Note: Actual 2014-15 data not yet available
Source: Youth- Offender Tracking and Information System