Programme d’intervention en délinquance du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Victims of crime; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Crime issues involving a mental health disorder or other health disorder; Recidivism; Sexual violence (non-domestic)

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting; Criminal justice setting

Location: Quebec

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The programme d’intervention en délinquance consists of two key interventions: Aggression Replacement Training (ART®) and PACIS (programme pour adolescents ayant commis des infractions sexuelles). Aggression Replacement Training (ART®)Footnote1 is a cognitive behavioural multi-component intervention designed for youth who display chronically aggressive and violent behaviour. PACIS, on the other hand, is intended to reduce sexual aggression and recidivism by helping participants recognize the harmful consequences of their behaviour. By creating safe spaces for discussion, PACIS activities aim to support and assist youth, transfer knowledge, and change maladaptive attitudes.

The program is centered on cognitive behavioural therapy; conflict resolution; skills building training and reinforcement techniques; group therapy; and violence prevention.

Goals

The main goals of the programme d’intervention en délinquance are to:

  • Reduce aggression and violence among youth by providing them with opportunities to learn how to control angry impulses and build pro-social skills;
  • Help youth understand the harmful consequences of sexually aggressive behaviour, including the sequence of behaviours leading to sexual aggression; and
  • Help youth understand appropriate sexual behaviour in the context of normal love relationships.

Clientele

The appropriate clientele for the programme d’intervention en délinquance is high risk youth between the ages of 12 and 17 who display serious aggressive behaviours. Youth targeted by the program are characterised by specific factors linked to delinquency such as physical or sexual victimization, problematic family and other interpersonal relationship problems, mental health issues, and criminal involvment or high risk peer relationships.

To participate in the program, youth must be clients of the Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie. Youth must also participate in a range of assessments, including a test to measure thinking errors related to sexual aggression, a test to measure empathy, and a test to assess alcohol and drug use.

Core Components

The programme d’intervention en délinquance consists of two components. The first component is a 10-week, 30-hour ART® intervention that seeks to promote a comprehensive aggression-reduction curriculum. The ART® component of the program includes the following:

  • Social skills training: youth learn pro-social behaviours through modeling and role-playing that should be applied when encountering stressful or negative situations;
  • Anger control training: youth use examples of recent real life situations where they encountered something that aroused feelings of anger in them. The group uses these examples to learn how to react in similar situations; and
  • Training in moral reasoning: youth are taught to view the world from the perspective of another person. It is designed to teach the youth about fairness and justice while taking into consideration the rights of the other person.

The second component of the programme d’intervention en délinquance involves the implementation of PACIS (programme pour adolescents ayant commis des infractions sexuelles). The PACIS component of the program is geared toward youth who have committed sexual offences in order to help them overcome maladaptive attitudes and behaviours. The PACIS component includes the following:

  • 12 two-hour group treatment sessions in which program facilitators help youth change negative cognitions and develop techniques for engaging in pro-social behaviour. Program facilitators also help youth differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behaviours.  

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: It is important for lead organizations to adapt program activities to the capacities and needs of youth. The heterogeneity of the group is also important to evaluate in terms of understanding both the positive and negative impacts of certain participants on others.
  • Partnerships: The success of the program depends on its partnerships with the Centre de psychiatrie légale de Montréal, the centre d’intervention en violence et agressions sexuelles, and the regroupement des intervenants en matière d’agression sexuelle. Partnerships with community-based agencies and social service agencies are also necessary.
  • Training and technical assistance: It is highly recommended that group facilitators be trained according to the standards set by trademark certifications and those established by Dr. Barry Glick and G & G Consultants, LLC. They provide the following: ART® Training for Group Facilitators, ART® Training for Trainers, and Master Trainer Training.
  • Risk assessment tools: Youth are evaluated using the Child Attitude towards Mother (CAM) and Child Attitude towards Father (CAF) questionnaires; the Family Assessment Device (FAD); the Index of Parental Attitude; the How I Think (HIT) Questionnaire; the Interpersonal Reactivity Index; Sarason’s Social Support Questionnaire; the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS); the Bumby Molest and Rape Scales; and the Juvenile Sex Offender Assessment Protocol II. A number of questionnaires have also been formulated to assess youth prior to their participation in the program, including an aggression questionnaire; a self-harm questionnaire; a self-perception scale; and a social problem resolution inventory.
  • Materials & resources: Two training manuals are needed to successfully deliver the ART® component of the program: Aggression Replacement Training® (3rd edition, revised and expanded); and Aggression Replacement Training®: A Comprehensive Intervention for Aggressive Youth.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the programme d’intervention en délinquance at the centre jeunesse de la Montérégie (Quebec) (2009-2011).

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote2 of the programme d’intervention en délinquance was conducted in 2009-2011 by Plante and Daigle (Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie). A quasi-experimental design with pre-test and post-test measures was used to assess the effects of three modules of the centre jeunesse de la Montérégie’s program (the Delinquency Intervention Program – clinical activities; the Girls Module; and the Module for Young Sex Offenders) on participants in relation to a control group.

Results from this evaluation showed the following:

  • Adolescents exposed to ART® showed a decrease in anger and offender cognitive distortions and increased social skills. More specifically, adolescents’ scores in anger went from 95.6 to 90.9 after the interventions were complete. This finding was statistically significant (p < 0.05);
  • Participants’ scores in negative social skills went from 74 to 64 once the ART® interventions were complete. This finding was statistically significant (p < 0.05);
  • Young sexual aggressors who participated in PACIS became less socially isolated and developed more positive attitudes that ran counter to sexual aggression;
  • Youth who completed the PACIS component of the program also reported an increased social support network at post-test; and
  • 14 out of the 18 youth who completed the PACIS component of the program did not reoffend under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). 8 out of the 10 youth who did not complete the PACIS component of the program did reoffend, suggesting that there is a correlation between PACIS and lower recidivism rates.

For more information, refer to Plante & Daigle’s (2012) publication.   

Cost Information

Between 2008 and 2011, the total cost of conducting the programme d’intervention en délinquance was approximately $4, 356 (CAD) per youth. This average cost is based on a sample size of 1435 participants over a three year period (Plante & Daigle, 2012).

References

Plante, N. & Daigle, M. (2012).  Le programme d’intervention en délinquance du Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie : rapport final, analyse des processus et effets. Centre de recherche Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, Université de Montréal. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

For more information on this program, contact:

Centre jeunesse de la Montérégie
Telephone: (450) 928-5125
Website: http://www.centrejeunessemonteregie.qc.ca/


Record Entry Date - 2018-03-08

  1. 1

    For more information on the ART® program, refer to the specific program descriptive sheet.

  2. 2

    A process evaluation study of the program was also conducted through Public Safety Canada’s funding. For more information, communicate with the Research Division, Public Safety Canada.

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