Age group: Adolescence (12-17)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Families
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
The PréCrimAdo Program (Prévenir la criminalisation chez les adolescents à haut risque par l’application de l’approche de médiation en centre jeunesse) strives to prevent the criminalization of youth who have been reported under Section 38(f) (serious behavioural disturbance) of the Quebec Youth Protection Act (YPA).
The PréCrimAdo Program is centred on the mediation approach. The mediation approach does not refer to a program per say, but rather requires the application of a structured mediation process that allows family members to take a fresh look at their situation and work to eliminate elements and risk factors that compromise a youth’s security and development.
The main goals of the PréCrimAdo Program are to:
- Engage family members in a problem solving process and improve family functioning and sense of competence;
- Reduce the youth’s behavioural problems; and
- Mobilize parties involved in protective measures.
The appropriate clientele for the PréCrimAdo Program are youth between the ages of 12 and 15 who have been reported under Section 38(f) (serious behavioural disturbance) of the Quebec Youth Protection Act (YPA), and who have parent-adolescent relationship problems.
The PréCrimAdo Program involves implementing a mediation approach in three Quebec youth centres in order to effectively address the risk factors likely to lead these youth to commit criminal offences.
Through mediation sessions, mediators have youth and their parents consider their respective needs and undertake negotiated corrective measures. Taking the needs of each family member into consideration is the basis of the mediation approach that allows intervening on the most important personal and family issues.
The negotiation process involves not only family members, but also other partners (schools, local community service centres, community organizations, etc.) with which cooperation is important in order to help the youth.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: the PréCrimAdo Program has been piloted with a specific category of youth – those who have been referred to youth centres (centres jeunesse du Québec) under the Youth Protection Act. The youth centres have been established under the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services in order to provide psychosocial, rehabilitation and social integration services in accordance with the Youth Protection Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act the Act Respecting Health Services and Social Services regarding the placement of children and youths.
- Partnerships: Organizations should collaborate with schools, local community service centres, community organizations, etc.
- Training and technical assistance: Individuals involved in delivering mediation sessions (social worker, clinical supervisor, facilitators) must be trained.
- Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
- Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.
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 the Centre jeunesse de Québec - Institut universitaire to implement the PréCrimAdo Program in three youth centres in Québec: Québec, Chaudière-Appalaches and Montérégie from 2008 to 2011.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
As part of Public Safety Canada’s funding, an outcome evaluationFootnote1 study of the PreCrimeAdo Program was conducted from 2008 to 2013 by the Université de Laval (Drapeau et al.) in the three youth centres. A quasi-experimental design was used with a non-equivalent comparison group. The evaluation design contained three measurement phases. The first two measurement phases (pre-test and post-test, P1 and P2) were carried out with parents and youth. The third phase (P3) was completed by querying the youth centres’ electronic databanks directly, without contacting parents or adolescents.
Results from this evaluation showed the following:
- Compared to the other groups, the youth exposed to mediation at the phase of measures implementation reported a significantly higher reduction of conflict with their parent(s) (reduction of 12 to 14% vs. 8 to 9% for the other groups);
- The parents in the mediation group reported a significantly greater improvement in the general functioning of their family (improvement of 18% vs. 7 to 11% for the other groups); and
- The analyses showed that the mediation approach does not directly affect the trajectory of youth being monitored under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
For more information, refer to the National Crime Prevention Centre’s (2014) publication.
The introduction of the PréCrimAdo Program mediation practices is associated with a reduction of approximately $521,438 (CAD) in the annual cost of services provided by an average youth centre to youth seen for behavioural disorders in 2011–2012 (Drapeau et al., 2013).
Drapeau S., Lessard G., & Turcotte D. (2013). Programme PréCrimAdo - L’épreuve des faits. Rapport final présenté au Centre national de prévention du crime, fonds d’action en prévention du crime. Centre de recherche sur l’adaptation des jeunes et des familles à risque (JEFAR), Université de Laval. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada. Available from: http://www.fss.ulaval.ca/cms_recherche/upload/jefar/fichiers/precrimado_rapport_final.pdf
National Crime Prevention Centre. (2014). PréCrimeAdo Program. Evaluation Summary. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada. Available from: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2014-ES-39/index-eng.aspx
For more information on this program, contact:
Centre jeunesse de Québec – Institut universitaire
2915 Bourg-Royal Avenue
Quebec, Quebec G1C 3S2
Telephone: (418) 661-6951
Record Entry Date - 2018-03-08
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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