Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

February 20, 2014 10:38 ET

Minister MacKay and MP Ashfield Announce Federal Government Funding for New Brunswick At-Risk Youth

FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK--(Marketwired - Feb. 20, 2014) - Justice Canada

Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Keith Ashfield, M.P. for Fredericton, announced $256,200 in funding to Partners for Youth to support a project that will implement a career development program specifically for youth in custody.

This funding is one of the latest federal government actions taken under the Youth Justice Initiative, which 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.

Quick Facts

- The program will provide youth in the New Brunswick Youth Centre with several hours of career development training.

- Youth will also participate in some carefully chosen adventure-based outings or activities. For example, low ropes challenge courses emphasize teamwork, overcoming obstacles, goal setting and communication skills. These activities will reinforce the program's themes and outcomes.

- Where possible, participants will remain connected with the program for six months after their release to receive continuing support in their efforts to find and keep jobs.

- The project will take a hands-on approach, and youth in custody will be involved in the overall project development so that their personal needs are reflected in the program.

- This innovative program will also be culturally sensitive, recognizing that cultural differences can affect values, learning and behaviour.

- This funding is being provided through the Youth Justice Fund, which supports a broad range of projects relating to youth involved in the justice system.

Quotes

"Our Government is committed to funding important initiatives that encourage at-risk youth to contribute in a positive and productive way to society and to their communities. With the right kind of support like that provided by Partners for Youth right here in Fredericton, these young Canadians have a much better chance of success and greater opportunities to find their own way to ensure safer and happier communities for the benefit of all Canadians".

- Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

"By supporting the work of organizations like Partners for Youth, our Government is working to keep our youth empowered to improve their lives, and our communities safe. We are proud of the innovative work done by this valuable organization and that of our partners across Canada to help rehabilitate youth who have been in conflict with the law".

- Keith Ashfield, Member of Parliament for Fredericton

"The importance of financial literacy and career development for youth is significant. More importantly, making sure all youth, especially those at risk, have access and support in these areas is critical to their long-term success. This initiative, designed and developed in part by youth, will fill a major gap in service for youth leaving custody, and we are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on its implementation."

- John Sharpe, CEO of Partners for Youth

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Backgrounder: Youth Justice Fund

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Backgrounder

Youth Justice Fund

The Youth Justice Fund was established in 1999 as part of the Youth Justice Renewal Initiative, and provides funding support to 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 such as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. 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 www.canada.justice.gc.ca/youth.

Contact Information

  • Paloma Aguilar
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Justice
    613-992-4621

    Media Relations Office
    Department of Justice
    613-957-4207