TORONTO, March 8, 2017 - Sixty-five
to seventy per cent of young people in the youth justice system were found to
meet the criteria for at least one mental health disorder. Rates of trauma,
developmental disorders, intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries,
and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are also over-represented in this
population. Sadly, many of these issues go unrecognized and undiagnosed.
spend 75 to 85 per cent of their calls on social service-related issues. “These
are large and complex challenges that can’t be tackled by one sector alone,”
said Tania Breton, Justice Lead with
the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at CAMH.
with mental health challenges and being justice-involved creates a dual stigma
that often creates barriers in accessing services. It is crucial that
communities address these key transition gaps collaboratively in the system to
create healthier care pathways for everyone.”
with community partners, PSSP created a new justice video highlighting those
transition points from police contact, to the court room, to reintegration. The
six-minute video takes viewers around the province to four communities that are
making a difference through the Systems
Improvement through Service Collaborative (SISC) initiative.
examples in the video demonstrate the power of cross-sector collaboration as a
true catalyst for improving the health and overall well-being of clients and
communities,” said Marg Connor, Acting
Director, Mental Health and Addictions Branch, Ministry of Health and Long-Term
Care. “They also provide lessons learned from communities that can help us
develop policies and incentives to encourage and maintain collaboration.”
Click here to watch the new justice service collaborative
was launched in 2012 with coordination from six ministries and funding from the
Government of Ontario. PSSP sponsored 18 Service Collaboratives, providing
implementation support to local communities, such as health equity and engagement,
knowledge exchange, coaching and evaluation.
is where an organization like CAMH brings their expertise to the community
partners and just removes barriers,” said JoAnn
Miller-Reid, former Assistant Deputy Minister, Youth Justice Services Division,
Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Keeping Youth out of the Justice
Intersections has helped 400
children, youth and their families over the last two years, and is being
expanded to three other communities. The intervention is easy to use: police
who receive calls for social service or mental health and addictions related incidents
offer a voluntary referral to the Intersections program. An Intersections
worker then supports the child, youth and family to find the right support services
within their community.
programs like Intersections are working upstream to keep young people out of
the justice system, those with mental health and/or addictions challenges who do
become justice-involved may end up in the court room.
Screening for Proper Care
Youth Justice Service Collaborative decided there was a more
efficient way to serve youth in the justice system by bringing a team of
service providers and resources together on the same day and time as youth
of the resources are there and [the screening team] can identify which ones are
the most appropriate immediately on the first court date, and make progress
almost by the second court date, which was almost unheard of before we had the
screening team,” said Legal Aid Niagara, Lawyer Manager, Elizabeth Cassavoy.
better ways to serve justice-involved populations is a driver behind the
implementation of trauma-informed practices: approaching any situation with an
awareness that you will never know what someone’s experience of trauma has
police and service providers, this lens is invaluable, which is why the Kenora-Rainy
River Service Collaborative implemented standardized trauma-informed practices
and protocols across their vast geography and system.
really opens the door to greater understanding,” said Kenora Ontario Provincial
Police Constable Bob Bernie.
Rejoining the community
fourth community featured in the video showcases an adult-focused reintegration
intervention. The Toronto
Justice Service Collaborative partnered with the John Howard Society’s
Reintegration Centre to develop tools and evaluation processes that helped
enhance the hub-based service and referral centre for men leaving the new
Toronto South Detention Centre.
video marks an exciting opportunity to reflect on the past success and future
opportunities for system improvement work in the province,” noted Breton.
four communities are creating positive change where the justice, mental health
and addictions systems intersect,” said
Lori Spadorcia, VP of Communications and Partnerships, CAMH. “I look
forward to seeing these efforts continue to expand to other regions in the