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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 219328 Find in a Library
Title: Community-Based Interventions for At-Risk Youth in Ontario Under Canada's Youth Criminal Justice Act: A Case Study of a "Runaway" Girl
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:49  Issue:1  Dated:January 2007  Pages:37-74
Author(s): Ruth M. Mann; Charlene Y. Senn; April Girard; Salma Ackbar
Date Published: January 2007
Page Count: 38
Type: Case Study; Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: Findings are presented from ongoing research on interventions for violent and at-risk youth in Ontario (Canada) through partnerships authorized under Canada's 2003 Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), with attention to the case of a 16-year-old "runaway" girl (Connie).
Abstract: The 2003 YCJA authorizes policy initiatives that emphasize a "preventative partnership" strategy intended to reduce overreliance on the justice system by shifting responsibility for preventing and responding to youth crime "and its associated risks" to communities, families, and individuals. The promises and challenges of this approach are exemplified in community responses to the needs and situation of Connie, an Ontario girl who "ran away" from an abusive home at age 15. To date, Connie's criminal acts have been relatively minor and have remained under the official radar. Her account of her experiences with existing supports underscores the need for services and referrals across justice, educational, and social services to be responsive to youths' accounts of their conditions, needs, and wishes. Youth seek support in their struggles to cope with past victimization and free themselves from abusive control while achieving educational and occupational success. Instead of facilitating this journey, however, schools, child protection, student welfare, and other services impose responsibilities on youth that foster their further alienation from mainstream institutions. Instead of providing a supportive network, these institutions are shifting responsibilities back onto youth and their families. The analysis of Connie's case drew upon interviews conducted in the course of two qualitative research projects. Her story exemplifies themes and concerns that recur throughout interview data to date. Interviews were conducted with 47 staff, 35 female youth, and 50 male youth. 10 notes and 78 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Community Involvement (juvenile delinquency prevention); Foreign juvenile justice systems; Interagency cooperation; Juvenile codes; Juvenile justice policies; Programs for runaways; Runaways
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