Review of the Roots of Youth Violence

Volume 1, Appendix 6:

Discussion Guide Fall 2007

Note from the Co-Chairs…

In June 2007, the Premier asked us to lead a Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, and to report our findings and recommendations to him in May 2008.

Violence involving youth is a serious concern for families, communities, schools, governments and youth themselves. This Discussion Guide is designed to assist Ontarians to provide their views on such violence, and on the solutions to it. These views are extremely important to the work which the Premier asked us to lead.

Our review involves many complex and longstanding issues, including how structural inequality, concentrations of disadvantage and racism impact violence involving youth. These are not new issues for either of us. Our deep interest in finding responses to inequality, disadvantage and racism did not start with the Premier's request to us, and it will not end when we submit our report to him.

Our immediate task is to identify and analyze underlying factors contributing to youth violence, and to provide recommendations to help Ontario become a better province for all of its youth and communities.

We are seeking the advice of Ontarians because we believe that our review will lead to lasting change — change that will be built on the shared experiences, insights and wisdom that youth and others share with us.

Because of what is at stake for our youth and our communities, we urge you to contribute to our review's important work.

Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling, Co-Chairs
Review of the Roots of Youth Violence

There are many ways that people define and think about violence involving youth. This Discussion Guide has been designed as a starting point, and it is intended to enable all respondents to provide the feedback that they believe best reflects the experience in their neighbourhood. The Review of the Roots of Youth Violence is open to, and hopes to hear, many points of view.

1. Describe the violence involving youth in your neighbourhood. What impact is it having?

2. What do you see as the roots of violence involving youth?

...think about the experiences that youth have:
• In society • In the community • In school • With friends and peers • With other youth • With family

3. Tell us about what’s happening in your neighbourhood to help address violence involving youth.
...think about:

•Outreach programs • Youth-led initiatives • Education • Employment •Policing • Any other things that are happening in your neighbourhood What’s working? Why?

What’s not working? Why?

4.What are the two or three most important things that could be done to address violence involving youth in your neighbourhood?

5.Describe the capacity that already exists in your neighbourhood to address violence involving youth (e.g., people, knowledge, programs, other resources that the community already has). What additional supports would help existing and proposed activities succeed?

What we have
(current capacity)

What we need
(additional supports that would help)

6. Beyond what can be accomplished locally in your neighbourhood, what do you think can be done across the province to address violence involving youth?

7.Do you have any other advice for the review?

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About This Discussion Guide…

Roy McMurtry and Alvin Curling both have long and distinguished careers as leaders in the Province and in their communities — careers that include major roles addressing issues such as housing, justice, equality and anti-racism. Their successes have earned them the privilege and responsibility of co-chairing this review.

In the short time that they have to conduct this review, the Co-Chairs will visit eight neighbourhoods across Ontario. In each of these, a version of this discussion guide is being used to develop presentations that neighbourhood representatives will make to the Co-Chairs. All of this feedback will be documented and shared with the review.

The Co-Chairs recognize that many more people may wish to provide their comments and ideas to the review, and have therefore established both this website and a toll-free number, 1-888-750-7977. If you have comments or ideas, you might find it useful to use the questions in this Discussion Guide to frame your responses. You may mail the completed guide to

Roots of Youth Violence Secretariat
2nd Floor, 880 Bay Street Toronto, ON M7A 2B6
or you may send your responses by e-mail to

Please note that it is an offence to publish or disclose to any person the name of a young person or any other information related to a young person if it would identify him/her as a young person who has been dealt with under the Youth Criminal Justice Act or the Young Offenders Act. On this basis, we ask that you exercise extreme care not to include in your responses any information that would fall within these statutory prohibitions.

Any personal information you choose to provide is collected in compliance with section 38(2) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Your information may be used to contact you regarding your comments but will not be released to any third party except with your permission. If you have any questions please contact the Review of the Roots of Youth Violence Secretariat at1-888-750-7977 or e-mail us at


Volume 1. Findings, Analysis and Conclusions

Volume 2. Executive Summary

Volume 3. Community Perspectives Report

Volume 4. Research Papers

Volume 5. Literature Reviews