Philosophy & Approach

We Can Make a Difference

The research tells us that more than half of young people who come into conflict will break the law again in the future — if we don’t step in to help them. The research also tells us that effective programming for youth who are at high risk of reoffending will reduce that risk by as much as 35 per cent.

The conclusions from the treatment literature indicate “that early interventions with high risk children and youth work…that punitive sanctions do not have a significant effect on reoffending and that appropriate treatment services, delivered with integrity, can be effective in reducing criminal activity.” (Dr. B. Hoge, Department of Psychology Carleton University)

We can make a difference in the lives of these youth and build a safer community for all of us.  This commitment to change young lives and strengthen our community lies at the foundation of all of youturn’s programs and services.

The Strengths of Community-based Programs

The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) is the legislation in Canada that deals with young people who break the law. Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services provides the programs and services for youth who have been dealt with by the YCJA, as well as those who are considered at risk of breaking the law.

Young people in conflict with the law have different needs from adults.

The YCJA states “…..communities, families, parents and others concerned with the development of young persons should, through multi-disciplinary approaches, take reasonable steps to prevent youth crime by addressing its underlying causes, to respond to the needs of young persons and to provide guidance and support to those at risk….”

“Justification for community based services must first have the ability to deliver cost effective services that does not compromise the communities safety… there are viable community based alternatives to custody that can both protect the public in the short term and reduce recidivism in the long term… Acknowledgement of what works for effective corrections and policy practices, the literature highlights appropriate assessment strategies that increase the potential for interventions to be clinically relevant to factors that influence risk.” Alan Lescheid Ph.D. Psych University of Western Ontario

Key strengths of community-based programs for youth in conflict with the law include:

  1. Community programs provide an opportunity to work not only with the youth, but also with their family, school, other service providers and as required, the police.
  2. Community programs are more flexible and provide a more natural environment for the youth to acquire new skills and knowledge.
  3. Community programs provide an immediate opportunity for a young person to apply these skills and attitudes in the “real world” of their daily lives.

Learn more about youturn’s philosophy and approach:

Best Practices

Our Guiding Principles