Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

April 24, 2014 15:30 ET

Minister MacKay Announces Funding to Assist Gang-Involved Young Offenders Gain New Skills

Funding support to help youth make a positive change in their lives and contribute to their communities

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 24, 2014) - Department of Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced $604,372 in funding to the Child Development Institute's Centre for Children Committing Offences (CCCO). The funding is supporting their Stop Now and Plan (SNAP®) for Youth in Custody project, which helps at-risk youth in custody to develop the necessary skills to resist gang involvement.

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 SNAP® for Youth in Custody project is designed to improve self-control and problem-solving skills for youth in custody who are in gangs or are at risk of gang involvement.

- The project also includes the development of web-based modules and training for custody workers. The modules focus on engaging youth in custody with interesting and creative learning approaches by providing real-life scenarios designed to improve self-control, decision-making skills and pro-social strategies.

- SNAP® stands for Stop Now and Plan. It is a cognitive-behavioural strategy developed over the past 25 years that helps children and parents regulate angry feelings by getting them to stop, think, and plan positive alternatives before they act impulsively. This project has adapted the SNAP® model for young offenders in custody.

- Youth participants are involved in developing, implementing and evaluating activities, ensuring the program is relevant to these at-risk youth.

- A total of $604,372 is being provided over four fiscal years - 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.

- 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.


"Ensuring a safer environment in which to live, grow and raise our families is an effort in which all members of a community must participate. Our Government is very pleased to partner with innovative individuals and organizations, such as the Child Development Institute, to help with the rehabilitation of youth and provide them with the skills to move forward in their lives. It is critically important to provide at-risk young offenders with tools that allow them to make smarter choices, so that they can successfully avoid criminal and gang activities and have a real second chance at contributing to Canadian communities in a positive way."

Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"The Child Development Institute is grateful for the support we received from the Department of Justice Canada's Guns, Gangs and Drug initiative, which enabled us to develop the SNAP Youth Justice Program (for youth in custody facilities). Using SNAP® (Stop Now and Plan), our evidence-based early intervention model, along with innovative digital technology, the program helps high-risk youth learn emotion regulation, self-control and problem-solving skills to help prevent further involvement with the criminal justice system and to increase the chance of successful reintegration into the community."

Dr. Leena Augimeri, Director, SNAP® Scientific and Program Development, Centre for Children Committing Offences

Related Products

Backgrounder: Youth Justice Fund

Associated Links

Department of Justice: Youth Justice Fund

Centre for Children Committing Offences

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Youth Justice Services Division

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


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

Contact Information

  • Paloma Aguilar
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice