Community Support Team (CST)
The Ontario government developed the Community Support Team (CST) programs as a community-based alternative for young persons in conflict with the law.
Eastern Ontario’s CST provides intensive community-based services aimed at preventing or limiting a young person’s stay in custody or detention facilities. The CST focuses on helping the young person acquire life skills that will help them productively participate in community life and avoid future involvement with the criminal justice system.
Our CST clients are male and female youth and their families—where the young person has been found guilty of a criminal offence and is considered at high risk for further criminal involvement/recidivism.
The young people served by the CST were between 12 and 17 at the time the offence was committed, and are on probation—supervised by a Youth Probation Officer.
The program is offered to youth and their families in all four local geographic regions of Eastern Ontario. In line with our commitment to serve youth in their home community, we have CST staff located in Ottawa; Renfrew County; Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG); and Prescott Russell.
We provide services to help young persons in various circumstances:
- Some of our clients have been convicted of an offence and our services are provided as an alternative to custody or detention.
- Others clients are on probation and deemed by their Probation officer as at a high risk to reoffend, and work with the CST staff towards decreasing this risk, while remaining in the community.
- Other clients are in secure custody and our services are designed to help them leave custody and return home as early as possible.
- The CST also supports youth to reintegrate into the community following a period in custody or detention to reduce the likelihood that they will re-offend.
- We also provide supervision and support to young persons who are awaiting trial in the community.
Youth are referred to the CST program through their Probation Officer.
If you know of a young person who might benefit from CST involvement, talk over your concerns with their probation officer and suggest a referral.
Participation by the youth and their family is voluntary.
Partnership with St. Mary’s Home
The CST program has formed a partnership with St. Mary’s Home to develop a pilot project to address the needs of CST-supported clients who are also young parents.