These programs provide support to youth in the criminal justice system and their families under the provision of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). These programs provide access to various supports and services both internally and externally.
Extra Judicial Sanctions Program
Partnering with the OPP, we assist the young person through a pre-charge program while holding them accountable for their actions. We contract with the young person and provide them with sanctions to complete prior to having any formal measures taken. The outcome of the individual file is reported to the OPP.
Partnering with the Crown’s Office, Police, and Probation, we assist the young person through an alternative to a formal court procedure. We contract with the young person and provide them with sanctions to complete, that enable them to payback the community for any wrong doings in which they may have participated. Assisting the young person in coming to terms with having made a wrong decision, we encourage them to make a positive change in their future.
The goal of the Youth Justice Court Worker – Early Intervention Program is the provision of an early intervention treatment plan for youth within the context of the criminal justice system. The initiative is supported by an enhanced community response across multiple service sectors.
The Youth Justice Court Worker provides supports to youth with mental health needs and other related concerns, including supporting the families involved in navigating the youth court system. The Youth Justice Court Worker will work with the youth, family and the courts to ensure the youth are not only connected to and receiving necessary supports and services but also ensure the court experience is as seamless and efficient as possible.
A variety of screening tools are available to triage mental health and other needs to ensure the youth are appropriately supported. Issues will be identified that compromise the well being of the youth and that require additional attention. In collaboration with the youth, caregivers, service providers, school officials, and other key individuals, the Youth Justice Court Worker will identify, inform and facilitate the development of a plan that will address the mental health and other needs of a young person.
Within the Early Intervention Program access to assessment and treatment is immediate. Youth are able to receive treatment on a variety of mental health and related issues including; anxiety, depression, social skills, grief, anger, self harm, stress, among others.
The Early Intervention Program staff are also members of the Niagara Youth Court Screening Initiative (NYCSI) within the youth courts. The Niagara Youth Court Screening Initiative is a team of service providers who are in the courthouse on youth court dates and offer mental health, addiction and basic needs screening to all first appearance youth. Screening is voluntary and youth who identify with mental health, addiction, basic needs or other related concerns are supported through referrals to various programs, services and organizations across Niagara. Participation in the Niagara Youth Court Screening Initiative is separate from the court’s decision about a youth’s case and will not affect the outcome.
Where information is available indicating that a young person may benefit from the Early Intervention Program, anyone may make a referral.
The therapist attached through the direct referral from a Probation Officer will offer treatment and supports to the youth on probation and their families.