Our organization has been a leader in the community since the early 1970’s to promote youth diversion. Over the years our programs and services have grown to the point where hundreds of youth are served with effective programs to stop their criminal behaviours.
Diversion from the court processes is not the ability to escape consequences for negative and anti-social behaviour. Diversion is a way to hold youth accountable for their criminal behaviours while at the same time finding answers to why they committed these acts in the first place.
These programs are based on two pillars of youth development, namely determining what needs the youth has that are a contributing factor in their criminal behaviour and timely, effective and just consequences for their criminal behaviours.
These programs include:
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PREVENTION PROGRAM
The Diversity and Inclusion program assists youth to better understand the concepts and issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, by defining and conceptualizing terms and definitions such as; biases, oppression, race, diversity, inclusion, gender, sexual identity and stereotypes. This is especially important for today’s youth as many times groups of youth may decide that a person or fellow youth who appears different or is of a different race or religion, etc. should be ostracized, isolated or in the worst case be driven out of community by force.
Sometimes these youth operate through a mob or gang mentality. Indeed, these “mobs” or “gangs” are not different from the many sub groups of organized gangs. Thus, this program not only teaches concepts and issues, it also teaches tolerance and the ability for youth to not be part of these groups that discriminate and oppress.
The program is offered is group format with a different topic every week.
SEXUAL ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRAM
The overarching goal of this new prevention program is to inform students in grade 6 , 7 and 8 and early high school years about the consequences, both criminal and moral, of crimes of sexual nature and to prevent sexual crimes.
With the latest research showing an increasing amount of sexual violence victims and offenders being under the age of 18 in Canada, this research highlights the importance of a prevention program for Sudbury-area elementary school students. Sexual charges on the weekly youth court charges now number over 50% of all youth charges being dealt with. We will educate to prevent further crimes by providing these youth with information and tools to improve personal and community safety.
Program facilitators will discuss personal values held by youth within the group. The importance of having awareness of values in their own lives will be stressed upon.
There will be a discussion about aspects of healthy relationships as a youth. There will also be an emphasis put on the topic of building and maintaining healthy relationships within their peer group. Program facilitators will address common misinformation the youth will have about sexual offences including violent offences and consequences of perpetrators and victims (e.g. What it is, the frequency of it occurring, who is targeted and affected, who perpetrates this offence and how).
The program facilitators will teach the youth about valid consent. The teaching will revolve around the fact that the optimal way to obtain consent is through explicit, verbal communication with a partner in any situation. They will also be addressing the dangers and risks associated with sharing and distributing nude photos.
The program will use both the cognitive behavioural and Piaget models of education. Research shows that these two models when used in conjunction with each other yield the best results for youth at the 12-14 year age level of retaining and incorporating the material being taught.
Referrals from police, schools, youth probation and youth court are welcome.
RECONCILIATION BETWEEN VICTIMS AND OFFENDERS
Reconciliation between victim and offender where both parties are willing to undergo a group conference to discuss the offence, the effects of the offence on the victim and appropriate consequences for the offender. Primarily for youth ages 12-17.
YOUTH REFERRAL PROJECT
The John Howard Society of Sudbury and Greater Sudbury Police Services in consultation have taken the leadership role in our community to attempt to produce solutions for youth who commit crimes.
This service provides community based post charge sanctions, outside of formal judicial proceedings, where a young person cannot be adequately dealt with by police cautions, warnings or referrals to community support programs. Primarily serves youth ages 12-17 alleged to have a committed an offense who accept responsibility for their actions.
This service provides community based pre-charge sanctions, outside of formal judicial proceedings, where a young person can be adequately dealt with by police cautions, warnings or referrals to community support programs. Primarily serves youth ages 12-17 alleged to have a committed an offense who accept responsibility for their actions.
For more information contact us at the John Howard Society. We are committed to serving youth andpreventing youth from any kind of negative gang involvement.