TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 27, 2014) - Justice Canada
Today, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and Parliamentary Secretary Bob Dechert announced $499,335 in funding to the For Youth Initiative in Toronto. The funding will support a three-year project that will provide intensive reintegration support for youth in the criminal justice system who are involved in gangs or gun violence, and give them tools to grow and become more productive members of their communities.
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, thereby promoting a holistic approach to helping youth.
- The Building Lives On Community Cohesion (B.L.O.C.C.) project is a three-year project that will help young offenders involved in gangs or gun violence reintegrate into society and their communities.
- Each participating youth will receive support over the course of one year in four key areas to reduce factors leading to violence:
- economic opportunities;
- educational attainment;
- family well-being; and
- reduction of social isolation.
- Youth will be selected through referrals from local police, probation officers and Toronto community housing engagement workers.
- $499,335 is being provided over three fiscal years - 2014-15, 2015-2016 and 2016-17.
- 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.
"Making our streets and communities safer means ensuring that youth who are in conflict with the law are given the tools and the opportunities they need to grow and become productive members not only of their communities, but also of Canadian society. Our Government is proud to support initiatives like this that embrace a holistic approach to improving the justice system's ability to rehabilitate and reintegrate young offenders by increasing their safety and leadership potential and ensuring they have the ability to contribute in a positive manner to their communities."
-Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
"By supporting the work of organizations like the For Youth Initiative, we are ensuring youth in Toronto are empowered to improve their lives and contribute to keeping our communities safe. We are proud to count on partners like this across Canada and their expertise to help rehabilitate youth who have been in conflict with the law."
-Bob Dechert, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice
"This program will serve the most marginalized, highest-risk youth in York South Weston and the Greater Toronto Area by supporting them in these four key areas. Our goal is to help them have hope for the future."
-Lekan Olawoye, Executive Director of For Youth Initiative
Backgrounder: Youth Justice Fund
Department of Justice: Youth Justice Fund
For Youth Initiative
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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 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.