SYDNEY, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Aug. 19, 2012) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today presented this year's Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award to members of the Prince Albert Police Service.
The award was presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The Prince Albert Police Service's Community Mobilization Prince Albert program is the winner of the thirteenth annual award.
"I am proud to recognize this year's award recipients, whose hard work has instilled in troubled youth a sense of responsibility for their actions and helped them make smarter choices," said Minister Nicholson. "These officers have demonstrated an outstanding level of personal dedication and commitment in finding innovative solutions to tackling the issue of youth crime, all in an effort to help make our streets and communities safer."
This year's award winners are Sergeant Brent Kalinowski and Constable Mathew Gray of the Prince Albert Police Service. The Community Mobilization Prince Albert concept and approach was started in 2011. The program promotes collaboration between provincial partners and non-government organizations - such as schools, mental health and addictions agencies, probation and police services. By providing these organizations with an opportunity to share information, they are able to intervene in the lives of youth and prevent them from heading down the wrong path. The program's success has attracted provincial and national attention, with many communities interested in replicating the process.
The Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Police Award is sponsored by the Department of Justice Canada in collaboration with the CACP. Award criteria include innovation and creativity and the use of community-based resources as alternatives to formal court processes. Also considered are effective uses of police discretion, conferencing, alternatives to custody and the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth in conflict with the law.
For more information about the Award, the winners and nominees, please visit http://canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/yj-jj/awards-prix/awards-prix.html.
MINISTER OF JUSTICE NATIONAL YOUTH JUSTICE POLICING AWARD 2012
The Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award was established in 2000 in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP). The award recognizes police officers who, individually or as a team, develop approaches for dealing with youth in conflict with the law that go beyond the formal court system. It celebrates innovative policing and serves to inform the police and wider community about creative responses to youth crime.
Specifically, the award recognizes individuals or teams whose programs exemplify the goals and objectives of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), including:
- The use of measures that, as described in the YCJA, go beyond the usual course of legal proceedings or the authority of a court, such as warnings, cautions, and referrals to community agencies;
- Providing advice to decision makers in the youth justice process;
- Contributing to the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth who have been found guilty of a crime.
All nominees must demonstrate a commitment to helping young people understand the impact of their actions and encourage the involvement of parents, families and communities in the justice system.
The winners of the 2012 Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award are Sergeant Brent Kalinowski and Constable Mathew Gray of the Prince Albert Police Service's Community Mobilization Prince Albert (CMPA) program.
The Community Mobilization concept and approach was started in February 2011. It has attracted provincial and national attention with many communities interested in replicating the process. Through a collaborative effort, involving provincial partners and non-government organizations, the CMPA program focuses on early interventions to prevent the entrenchment of at-risk youth in the justice system.
CMPA is comprised of two equally-important elements, one dealing with the individual and the other addressing issues in the community.
The HUB committee, which includes Sergeant Kalinowski and Constable Gray, is comprised of personnel from many provincial partners including police, probation, social services, corrections, health, mental health, education, addictions and others. The HUB meets twice a week to discuss relevant cases of "elevated risk" among individuals or families. The appropriate agencies that hold a piece of the solution are identified and a meeting with the individual is then scheduled to offer services and assistance. Many of the individuals brought forward to the HUB are youth. CMPA helps to address the systemic issues such as housing, addictions, or mental health that lead some to recidivism, encouraging youth to make better choices.
The second part of the CMPA program is the Centre of Responsibility (COR). The COR deals with systemic causes on a larger scale. Truancy, addictions, mental health, and family violence are all causes of youth criminality and victimization. The COR is comprised of members of various agencies and focuses on community problems. The COR develops community action plans and strategies to combat current community issues. CMPA often partners with non-governmental organizations in the community in order to make referrals of youth in conflict with the law. The program also supports the reintegration of these youth with activities created by CMPA in partnership with local school boards.
Whether through referrals, committees, conferencing or reintegration of young offenders, the Community Mobilization Prince Albert program offers an innovative approach to giving youth in the community an opportunity to make better choices and keep communities safe.
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