Our Justice System: Discussed
Please watch the following video:
Naomi Nichols: The Failed Promise of Re-integration
Planning for re-integration is meant to start when a youth enters custody, is assigned a Youth Services Officer or (YSO), and begins to engage in rehabilitative services, including case management, pursuit of education, and participation in incentive structures and behaviour modification programs. The re-integration process ends in community, where ideally the youth is assigned a probation officer, and seamlessly transitions into community programming, including education and training.
But the youth in custody or detention we interviewed in Canada’s largest youth jail had no sense of what re-entry would look like for them.
When youth transition out of custody, youth workers and advocates discover that wait lists and narrow eligibility requirements (e.g., education minimums for participation in job-readiness programs) make it difficult to engage youth in suitable programming in community environments. Some youth are unable to return home, and as such, simultaneously find themselves navigating the province’s social assistance system and social housing resources – as well as any number of community sector organizations – as part of their re-entry process. The public and community sector organizations that a youth may be required to navigate are not organized to provide a cohesive system of care for youth.
Please check back with us next week as we continue to unpack Our Justice System: The Story of the Impossible?
As always, we encourage you to share, comment and tell us your thoughts and learnings!