Management Response and Action Plan

Project Title: Evaluation for the Youth Justice Initiative (YJI)

Responsibility Centre: Policy Implementation Directorate (PID), Programs Branch, and Youth Justice and Strategic Initiatives Section (YJSIS)

Conclusions Recommendations Management Response Action Plan Responsible Managers (Title) Planned Completion Date

Use of Pre-trial Detention for Youth

The evaluation observed that while sentenced custody rates have steadily decreased over the past several years, pre-trial detention rates have remained relatively stable under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).

Recommendation 1:

It is recommended that the Policy Implementation Directorate (PID) and YJSIS, in cooperation with provincial and territorial partners, examine the factors influencing the use of pre-trial detention for youth, and particularly for Aboriginal youth.

Agreed. PID and YJSIS will work with the provinces and territories to examine the factors influencing the use of pre-trial detention for youth, and particularly for Aboriginal youth.

The Prime Minister of Canada has committed the federal government to fully implementing the Calls to Action of the TRC. This includes eliminating the overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in custody over the next decade. In this regard, YJSIS and PID will engage their respective FPT WGs (CCSO-YJ and FPT WG on Youth Justice Cost-sharing and Programs) to examine the factors influencing the use of pre-trial detention, as well as to identify new opportunities for reducing the gap between remand rates of the Aboriginal youth population and the general youth population.

Also, PID and YJSIS are finalizing a compendium of youth criminal justice statistics. The compendium will provide detailed statistics, broken down by jurisdictions, gender and custody type, on Aboriginal youth overrepresentation in custody, and inform FPT discussions on the important issue of pre-trial detention.

Senior Director, PID

Director General and General Counsel, YJSIS

June 2016 and ongoing

Limited information on the outcomes of the YJI.

The evaluation concluded that there was limited data available linking on-the-ground developments in the administration of youth justice to the programs and services that the YJI funds in part. Each province and territory has its own set of programs and services designed to address youth justice issues. However, the outcomes identified for the YJI are phrased such that success is measured largely by whether or not YJI funds are being spent on programs, services and community-based projects that are intended to address the YCJA and YJI objectives. The effectiveness of the programs and services funded under the Youth Justice Services Funding Program and the Intensive Rehabilitative Custody and Supervision Program are seen to be the responsibility of each province and territory, given that the provinces and territories are responsible for the administration of youth justice. What this means is that evaluators are limited in their ability to establish a causal link between YJI contributions and improvements in the justice system response to youth justice issues. Given the maturity of the Initiative, it would be helpful to have more in-depth understanding of the impacts that are attributable to the federal funding and the effectiveness of specific types of programs and services to which the Department contributes.

Recommendation 2:

It is recommended that the Policy Implementation Directorate (PID) and YJSIS work with the Evaluation Division and provincial and territorial partners to develop comprehensive data sources to support the evaluation of the outcomes of the YJI, and more particularly, the longer-term outcomes of the YJI.

Agreed. PID and YJSIS will work with the Evaluation Division and provincial and territorial partners to increase the availability of new data sources to support the evaluation of the outcomes of the YJI.

The FPT WG on Youth Justice Cost-sharing and Programs will explore options for evaluating the effectiveness of the IRCS Program for completed Part B and C cases. A research proposal will be presented at the next FPT WG in-person meeting in March 2016.

In consultation with the provinces and territories, enhanced reporting requirements were implemented in 2014-15 as part of the new sets of agreements for both IRCS and YJSFP. Data will be analyzed and any data gaps will be identified to inform future data needs and any new reporting requirements.

PID and YJSIS systematically use relevant Statistics Canada’s data sources to provide macro-level trend information about the youth justice issues, nationally and across all jurisdictions. Important indicators such as rates of non-custodial sentences, diversion, etc., are monitored to ensure Youth Justice Policy objectives continue to be achieved, including evaluation outcomes.

Senior Director, PID

Director General and General Counsel, YJSIS

March 2016 and ongoing
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