John Howard Society of Ottawa

Prevention & Intervention

Choices School-Based Prevention Program

This project is in partnership with the Ottawa Catholic School Board, and is funded in part from our community partners: Community Foundation of Ottawa and Catholic Education Foundation of Ottawa. This program began as a two-year pilot project, funded through Crime Prevention Ottawa. Due to the program’s continued success, Choices has expanded into our fifth year of implementation and now services two inner city Ottawa schools.

Recognizing the importance of education in supporting a young person away from potential involvement in the justice system, this program takes place on school property. Programming for both males and females at the junior level of high school supports their learning and development in three distinct areas: attitudes, values and beliefs; peers and relationships; and, social skills.

For more information on this project, or to bring this programming to your school, contact: David Dapaah, Coordinator – Community Services for Youth

Diversion Services

This programming is provided in partnership with the Ottawa Community Youth Diversion Program, operated through the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

Gender-specific groups focusing on peer influences and healthy relationships, and the role of thoughts and thinking in risky and criminal behaviour, support youth ages 12 to 17 in being accountable for actions that have brought them to the attention of police and the courts.

Contact: David Dapaah, Coordinator – Community Services for Youth

And, for more information on the Ottawa Community Youth Diversion Program, visit

Non-Residential Attendance Centre

The Non-Residential Attendance Centre (NRAC) is a non-custodial sentencing option as identified in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, and part of a continued plan from the Youth Justice Division of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to decrease reliance on custody, and further intensive community-based interventions.

The goal of this program is to reduce offending behaviour by targeting specific risks demonstrated by youth through intensive counselling and programming. This program is intended for moderate- to high-risk youth who require intervention in multiple criminogenic need areas.

Youth Justice Probation Officers are the sole referral source to NRAC. They refer youth to NRAC under a general counselling condition or a specific court-ordered NRAC condition.

Youth involved with NRAC are assigned a counsellor for individual work and attend group programming that targets the factors placing them at greatest risk to re-offend.

Programming for males includes:

  • Antisocial attitudes, values and beliefs
  • Anger and aggression
  • Cognitive and social skills
  • Drug and alcohol use

  • Antisocial peers and other unhealthy influences
  • Intimate partner relationships
  • Independent living skills
  • Education, employment, and connection to recreational/leisure activities

In March 2008, NRAC became the first Canadian pilot site for a new and comprehensive gender-responsive curriculum for justice-involved girls and young women. Girls . . . Moving On is programming that reflects the most of what is known, and the best of what is believed, to impact their involvement in the justice system. For information about Girls . . . Moving On, including philosophy, guiding principles and content, follow this link:

Beginning in 2009, the Youth Justice Division of the Ministry of Children and Youth has undertaken a province-wide implementation and evaluation of Girls . . . Moving On. NRAC is one of many sites, including both custodial and non-custodial settings in all regions of Ontario, participating in this large-scale project.

NRAC operates in two locations, one central for youth living in east and central Ottawa and another in the west end for youth living west of downtown.

Contact: David Dapaah, Coordinator – Community Services for Youth

On Point Program (GPIP)

John Howard Society (JHS) of Ottawa and youturn Youth Support Services have partnered to address youths’ pathways to involvement in gang-related crime by providing evidence-based, gender-responsive supports and services to youth aged 12 to 20, and their families, living in Ottawa, Russell County and Rockland.

Prevention Services
JHS Ottawa is focussed on the prevention of gang involvement through individual counselling and group programming on topics such as healthy relationships with peers and important others, connections to family and community, the role of thoughts and thinking in risky behaviour, skills that promote self-respect and regard for others, use of free time, and opportunities for education and/or employment.

Our partner agency, youturn, offers Collaborative Problem Solving Parent Group Therapy. This is an eight-week program that supports parents in improving relationships with their children and decreasing challenging behaviours. Such positive changes, together with specific support to parents, offer their children some protection from involvement in gangs and other high-risk activities.

Intervention Services
Please go to our partner agency’s website for information about their intensive services to youth who are involved in or vulnerable to gangs, and their families:

For more information, please contact David Dapaah, Coordinator – Community Services for Youth
Paper referrals can be faxed to 613.828.2683 using the referral form

Time For Change

Mobile services dedicated to individuals & families impacted by street-level violence.

We offer:

  • Collaboration & Resiliency Building
  • Education and Workforce Readiness & Skill Development
  • Employment: job-readiness & placements
  • Safety & Stability: security of self & income to meet individual/ family needs
  • Transition Planning
  • Counselling & Support
  • Safety & Stability Supports

For more information, please contact Kim McCalpin, T4C Project Lead
Handouts: T4C For Professionals, T4C For Individuals