Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal/Gangs de rue (PSI-MTL/GDR)
Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Adult offenders; Gang-involved (and/or at risk); Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)
Topic: Gang and/or related criminal activities; Recidivism
Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention
The Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal/Gangs de rue (PSI-MTL/GDR) works with teenagers and young adults who are involved in or at high-risk of becoming involved in criminal gang activity. This program is based on the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP) approach.Footnote1 The continuum of interventions provided includes clinical supports and the provision of opportunities for employment, education, and other supports. The PSI-MTL/GDR combines intensive monitoring with social integration activities and relies on the coordination of resources from multiple organizations.
The main goals of the PSI-MTL/GDR are to:
- Reduce the delinquent behaviour (and recidivism) of adolescents and young adults already associated, to varying degrees, in the criminal activities of street gangs through intensive monitoring and by providing prosocial alternatives; and
- Develop the social environment around these youth so as to increase opportunities to integrate positively in their community by involving the resources of partner agencies and the community.
The appropriate clientele for the PSI-MTL/GDR is youth aged 15-25 who are either already involved, or at high-risk of becoming involved, in criminal gang activity. Youth already in the criminal justice system may also participate in the program, under specific conditions.
Once youth are identified, an assessment of their risks and needs is conducted to fully understand any legal conditions they are under and their own unique combination of risk and protective factors.
The PSI-MTL/GDR consists of:
- Individual action plans: A focused, intensive plan of action is developed for each of the youth participants and their families. Three to four meetings a week between the youth, family, and project staff are normal, and this is augmented with other contacts in community organizations arranged through the program staff. Participants in the program spend 20-40 hours per week involved in activities related to the program. These can include school, professional training, employment skill development, job searching, volunteer work and recreational activities;
- Street outreach: Program staff are engaged in street outreach to identify and support youth in the program; and
- Workshops: Group workshops are held once a week and cover topics such as communication skills, alternatives to violence, conflict resolution, empathy, and problem solving.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The formation of several committees (directional, operational, clinical, coordination and delivery, etc.) was necessary to structure and implement the program.
- Partnerships: The PSI-MTL/GDR involves many partnerships in the community. Some of the key organizations involved include: Quebec Ministry of Public Safety, City of Montreal, Teen Community Project in Street Work – street PACT, Batshaw Youth and Family Centre, City of Montreal Police Service, Direction of Public Prosecution Service of Quebec, and Quebec Correctional Services.
- Training and technical assistance: A training plan was developed and program stakeholders attend various sessions in order to understand the foundation of the program and the tools associated with service.
- Risk assessment tools: The Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) tool is utilized.
- Materials & resources: The program manual is available from the program developer.
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 PSI-MTL/GDR in two neighbourhoods in Montreal, Quebec (Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension et LaSalle) between 2009 and 2014. The PSI-MTL/GDR is implemented by the Centre jeunesse de Montréal – Institut universitaire.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluation studyFootnote2 of the PSI-MTL/GDR in the Centre jeunesse de Montréal – Institut universitaire (2009-2014) was conducted by Lafortune and colleagues. The research design is quasi-experimental with repeated measures and a matched control group. The study includes two distinct components: the first was based on the collection of data from 33 program participants and a control group of 45 youths, recruited from youth centres in Montreal, Laval, and Montérégie, and the Batshaw Youth and Family Centre (BYFC). The second component dealt with the files of 127 participants and 166 offenders who had received services provided by youth centres and QCS in the Montreal, Laval, and Montérégie administrative regions.
Results from this evaluation showed the following:
- An examination of recidivism shows a higher rate of new convictions for the experimental group (25.7%) compared to the control group (15%). However, there were no significant differences concerning the nature or severity of the offences. Calculating separate rates indicates that there were no significant differences for violent offences (crimes against persons) and non-violent offences, but shows that there were differences in terms of new convictions for failure to comply with supervision conditions (13.3% compared to 1.8%).
- The initial risk level and criminal history were controlled in a subsequent analysis of recidivism rates and of the length of time before the new conviction. Thus, the experimental group was almost three times more likely to be convicted of any offence or of a violent offence, and up to thirteen times more at risk of facing a new conviction for failure to comply with supervision conditions. These differences may very likely stem from reactivity and increased surveillance by the justice system, and not from more offensive behaviours.
For more information, refer to Lafortune et al.’s (2016) publication.
The total cost of PSI-MTL/GDR is $14,820,543, and the cost per participant is $67,055.04. These amounts include the direct program costs and the regular cost of services provided by agencies. Subtracting the latter fees in order to estimate the level of effort required to implement this type of program within existing services, the revised cost per participant is $31,163.34 ($19,143.26 for the treatment and $12,020.08 for administration) (Lafortune et al., 2016).
National Crime Prevention Centre. (2010). Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal – Gangs de rue. Crime Prevention in Action. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/prgrm-sv-ntsf/index-eng.aspx
Lafortune, D., Morselli, C., Guay, J.-P., Fredette, C., Gagnon, C., & Royer, M.-N. (2016). Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal – Gangs de rue. Rapport d'évaluation final. Submitted to Danièle Laliberté, Public Safety Canada.
For more information on this program, contact:
Centre jeunesse de Montréal – Institut universitaire
4675 Bélanger Road
Montreal, Quebec H1T 1C2
Telephone : (514) 593-3979
Record Updated On - 2018-04-23
For more information on the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP), refer to the program descriptive sheet.
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.
- Date modified: