Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

September 25, 2014 15:43 ET

Federal Government Supports Program to Assist At-Risk Youth in Toronto

Funding to help youth learn new skills and coping mechanisms to decrease their involvement with the criminal justice system

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 25, 2014) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $499,805 in funding to the Agincourt Community Services Association. The funding will help the organization develop and deliver a series of workshops to assist youth in learning new skills and coping mechanisms to increase their resiliency in the face of negative peer influences and decrease their involvement with the criminal justice system.

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

• The series of workshops being developed and delivered by the Agincourt Community Services Association will be designed to increase the capacity of youth in conflict with the law to identify and manage difficult negative feelings, enhance problem solving skills, build pro social peer networks and engage in a range of positive group based activities.

• The funding is being provided over four years as follows:

  • 2014-15: $136,964
  • 2015-16: $165,928
  • 2016-17: $168,104
  • 2017-18: $28,809

• 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.

Quotes

"Our Government's commitment to keeping Canadians safe, requires us to ensure that youth are given the tools and skills they need to grow and develop resiliency against negative influences, and to channel their energy into becoming active and positive members of their communities. We are pleased to support the Agincourt Community Services Association develop and deliver a program that will empower at risk youth, by teaching them practical strategies to become productive and law-abiding members of society."

Peter MacKay
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"Young people today face a plethora of challenges and have very complex needs. Some of the potential barriers they face daily may include unemployment, legal issues, and housing need, as well as mental health issues. This funding from the Department of Justice Canada enables the Agincourt Community Services Association to provide learning opportunities through everyday activities like preparing meals together or providing activities where they can learn about healthy, proactive and creative ways to deal with negative emotions. This funding will allow us to bring together service providers from across Scarborough's communities and identify ways to work more effectively with some of our society's most vulnerable to make long term sustainable changes for these youth."

Lee Soda
Executive Director of Agincourt Community Services Association

"The Agincourt Community Services Association truly does great work for our youth here in Toronto. This program will help strengthen bonds in our community and help assist troubled youth, start a new chapter in their lives. I am proud of the support our Government is providing the Centre, and I wish them continued success, to ensuring our youth get the resources they need."

Mike Wallace
Member of Parliament for Burlington

Related Products

Backgrounder: Youth Justice Fund

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Department of Justice: Youth Justice Fund

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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 are 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.

Contact Information

  • Clarissa Lamb
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207