Circle of Courage Youth Intervention Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Academic issues; Alcohol and/or drug use; Antisocial/deviant behaviours

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting; Social services setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Circle of Courage Youth Intervention Program, based on the program Circle of Courage®, aims to provide culturally sensitive intervention to at-risk youth active in the criminal justice system. The goal of the program is to help youth reintegrate into society by providing them with community assistance and cultural education; this allows the program to help youth abstain from previous criminal activity, such as drug abuse, while promoting positive youth development and pro-social values.


The main goals of the Circle of Courage Intervention Program are to:

  • Reduce re-contact of Aboriginal youth with the criminal justice system;
  • Assist youth in finding a positive life direction;
  • Aid youth in abstaining from using drugs and alcohol;
  • Increase attendance at school and involvement in school activities and learning objectives; and
  • Restore positive community values through cultural teachings and presentations.


The appropriate clientele are Aboriginal youth aged 12-17. Candidates for the program are referred from schools, local probation offices, Child Protection Services, Alberta Family and Social Services and parents.

Core Components

The Circle of Courage® model is an evidence-based practices adapted for the context of the Blood Tribe Reserve. Components of the program include:

  • Youth who could benefit from the program are identified;
  • Elders and other community resources are utilized proactively; and
  • Cultural awareness -- this instils a sense of identity and belonging, pride and self-esteem and produces positive effects.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Elders and other community resources should be utilized in a proactive approach to curb negative influences.  Including cultural awareness instils a sense of identity and belonging in the youth and produces positive influences.
  • Partnerships: Partnerships between Kainai Community Corrections Society, Child Protection Services, Alberta Family and Social Services.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

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

The Circle of Courage Intervention Program was implemented in the Blood Tribe Reserve (Alberta) from 2010 to 2013. Funding was provided through the Safe Communities Innovation Fund (SCIF), Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

No information available.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Kainai Community Corrections Society
Rick Soup
Telephone: (403)737-2555

Record Entry Date - 2018-02-20
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: