Management Response and Action Plan

Project Title: Evaluation of the Youth Justice Initiative Funding Components

Responsibility Centre: Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice and Policy Implementation Directorate, Programs Branch

Conclusions Recommendations Management Response Action Plan Responsible Manager (Title) Planned Implementation Date
The evaluation found that in some jurisdictions, there is no clear ‘path’ to an IRCS sentence; in other words, there may be no process in place for identifying potential IRCS cases, ordering assessments, and/or following the cases prior to or after sentencing. In general, the consideration of an IRCS sentence was up to the Crown or defence. This may account for the lower number of IRCS sentences than originally projected. Some provinces/territories have undertaken initiatives to educate stakeholders in the criminal justice system about the IRCS sentence, and these were reportedly effective at raising awareness of the sentencing option; however, awareness and understanding of the IRCS sentence, including which charges and diagnoses that qualify, could still be improved in many places. A few jurisdictions have IRCS manuals that outline protocols for their province/ territory and/or have, or are in the process of developing, databases or tracking systems to identify and follow potential cases. Opportunities for enhanced communication and information sharing among IRCS coordinators could allow jurisdictions to learn from one another to inform the development of their own IRCS processes, leading to greater consistency of practice across the country, while still allowing for necessary jurisdictional variation.  1. It is recommended that the Policy Implementation Directorate, Programs Branch, work with provinces and territories to enhance opportunities among IRCS coordinators to communicate and share information.

Agreed. The Policy Implementation Directorate in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners, will continue efforts commenced in Fiscal Year 2009/10 to enhance opportunities among IRCS coordinators to communicate and share information.

To date, various projects have been funded under Part D of the IRCS Funding Program to enhance training and information sharing. For example:

A National Forum on Working with Female Youth Offenders was held in February 2009 in Vancouver. Following this, several jurisdictional specific training sessions took place  regarding gender- sensitive responses to female youth  and trauma within the correctional setting.

Ontario developed E-learning modules to provide accessible, interactive training for staff dealing with youth with mental health needs and on the province’s IRCS process.

British Columbia carried out a series of workshops on IRCS for youth justice staff.  Workshops cover legislation, policies, protocols, roles and responsibilities, tracking of potential cases, case management, benefits and lessons learned from previous cases.

Newfoundland and Labrador carried out information sessions on core correctional programming following a model used in Saskatchewan.

A youth summit will be held in Prince Edward Island in February 2011 to include addictions, mental health and other youth serving agencies from Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador to share information and develop skills in dealing with traumatized youth, which is built on lessons learned from the 2009 Female Youth Conference.
 

Director, Policy Implementation Directorate in collaboration with provincial / territorial partners will discuss how to address this issue and develop a strategy to increase opportunities to communicate and share information as resources permit.

Director, Policy Implementation Directorate

December 31, 2011

The evaluation identified a need for enhanced transparency and formalization with respect to the YJF application and review processes, including greater accessibility of YJF information. There is also a need for more outreach on the part of the YJF to encourage more applicants and a greater variety of them.
The YJF’s visibility could be improved by making more detailed and up-to-date information available online. The availability of YJF information relates to a further issue identified by the evaluation: insufficient analysis and dissemination of the results of YJF-funded projects. In order to achieve the intended outcome of increasing knowledge of new and innovative approaches, the YJF needs to not only fund projects, but also ensure that findings are documented and shared with relevant stakeholders including other YJF projects, provincial/territorial partners, potential applicants, and the public.

2. It is recommended that Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice, explore ways to increase access to information about the application and review processes for the YJF among prospective funding applicants. 
It is further recommended that Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice, ensure that findings are documented and shared with relevant stakeholders including other YJF projects, provincial/territorial partners, potential applicants, and the public.

Agreed

The Youth Justice Fund is using its website as a primary means of information dissemination.  Online resources have been expanded and updated, and now include the Fund's Terms and Conditions and the approval process for new projects.  Information on current and past projects will also be made more easily accessible online.  New reporting and evaluation forms and guidelines for funding recipients have been developed to support efforts to analyze project results and disseminate knowledge to relevant stakeholders.
 
The Fund is regularly sharing information on priorities, projects and calls for proposals with provinces, territories and federal departments and agencies. Partly as a result of its outreach efforts, the Fund is receiving more applications, experienced only a small lapse in funding in 2009-2010 and is anticipating a minimal lapse, if any, in 2010-2011.

Director, Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice

March 31, 2011

The evaluation found room for improvement in the area of performance measurement. For all three funding components, there were challenges resulting from variations in the level and type of information provided by funding recipients, which affects the ability to evaluate program effectiveness.  The evaluation also identified challenges in distinguishing the impacts of the YCJA from those of the funding components. 

3. It is recommended that a Performance Measurement Framework be developed that covers the YJI policy and funding components and clearly links performance measures to intended outcomes. 

Agreed.

We will develop a comprehensive Performance Measurement Framework for the YJI that includes an updated logic model, performance measurement strategy and evaluation strategy. 

Director General, Youth Justice, Director, Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice, Director, Policy Implementation Directorate, Programs Branch, and
Evaluation Manager, Evaluation Division

September 30, 2011

The evaluation found that jurisdictions experienced decreases in the rate of youth charged, the youth court caseload, and youth sentenced custody rates, as well as corresponding increases in the use of alternative sentencing options and the rate of youth dealt with through alternative means.
The evaluation noted different patterns for sentenced custody and remand that comprise custody statistics. Overall incarceration rates have declined since the introduction of the YCJA, primarily as a result of decreases in sentenced custody. The average daily count of youth in sentenced custody fell, while rates of remand remained relatively stable. These trends have resulted in remanded youth representing a growing proportion of the youth custody population, such that youth in remand outnumbered youth in sentenced custody.

The evaluation could not explain why remand rates are not decreasing to the same extent as sentenced custody. This is an important issue since remanded youth are often ineligible for programming but may spend a substantial amount of time in custody.

4.  It is recommended that the Performance Measurement Framework include an approach to explore issues with respect to remand.

Agreed.

We will ensure the Performance Measurement Framework includes an approach to studying the issues with respect to remand.

Director General, Youth Justice, Director, Programs and Corporate Affairs, Youth Justice, Director, Policy Implementation Directorate, Programs Branch, and
Evaluation Manager, Evaluation Division

September 30, 2011

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