Youth Justice Programs

African Canadian Youth Justice Program Overview

The intent of the African Canadian Youth Justice Program (ACYJP) is to offer racially and culturally appropriate services and referrals as a community-based solutions for Black youth involved in the Youth Criminal Justice process, in keeping with the goals of rehabilitation and reintegration under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). The program is aimed at youth 12-17 years old at the time of the offence. It provides direct service and networking support along a continuum from pre-custody to re-integration. We are a source of community information through public education, consultations with the African Canadian community and education for members of the Criminal Justice System to ensure that racially and culturally appropriate sanctions are being utilized.Program Services
  • Extra-Judicial Sanctions
  • Bail Planning for Youth in Custody
  • Advocacy for Education
  • Referral Services
  • Court Liaison
  • Community Case Conferencing
  • Reintegration
  • Extended Personal Support Services
  • Case management

Community Justice Worker

The court system can be an intimidating place for youth and their parents. The goal of the ACYJP is to bridge the gap between the Criminal Justice System and the Black Community by providing education and referral services.  The role of the Community Justice Worker (CJW) is to navigate Black youth and their families through the Criminal Justice System. The CJWs will work in conjunction with community organizations in order to provide community based re-integrative and rehabilitative supports to Black youth involved in the Criminal Justice System.

The CJW will work in conjunction with the young person and their family in order to develop a comprehensive Service Plan. It will be tailored to the needs of the young person and informed by the young person’s personal goals, strengths and challenges. The Service Plan will contain a cultural component to assist the young person in developing an increased awareness and appreciation of their African heritage.  The Service Plan will be comprised of specific goals that are time limited, measurable and achievable.

As a system navigator, the CJW will ensure that the young person and their parents have a clear understanding of all release conditions. Appropriate supports will be utilized in order to assist the young person with compliance and support parental involvement.  The CJW will have ongoing contact with the young person and their family and will meet with them on every court appearance. When the young person will not be appearing in court for a period of 4 weeks or more, the CJW will initiate bi-weekly telephone contact with the youth and family.

Referral Process

Youth are eligible for referral to the Community Justice Worker if they are being administered under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, consents to participate in service and have outstanding criminal charges. The ACYJP will accept referrals from parents, youth, Defence Counsel, Duty Counsel, Probation Officers, Bail Program and community organizations.


The referrals will come from Probation Services however; the ACYJP Social Worker will also accept referrals from the ACYJP Community Justice Worker. The Probation Officer will make the initial referral directly to the Social Worker in the corresponding catchment areas, for youth assessed as having a high to very high risk of re-offending in the community as per the Probation Officers Risk Need Assessment Tool. Exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis giving special consideration to the needs of the young person and present caseload sizes.  If the ACYJP is unable to provide the young person with service, we will consult with the referral source and provide other viable options for service. Referrals will be accepted prior to sentencing, post sentencing, during the course of a pre-sentence report, while the youth is in custody or after the youth’s release into the community.


African Canadian Youth Justice Program Brochure