Program snapshot

Age group: Late childhood (7-11)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

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

Topic: Antisocial/deviant behaviours; Gang and/or related criminal activities

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

Location: Manitoba

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

Turnabout is a Manitoba-wide integrated response to children under the age of 12 years who have come into contact with the police for actions that may result in charges if they were 12 years or over.  The program also extends to those who are exhibiting behaviours that put them at-risk of becoming involved with police.

The Turnabout Program began in October, 2002 as a centralized referral system coordinated by the Province of Manitoba for policing agencies in Manitoba, including the Winnipeg Police Service. Under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, children under 12 cannot be charged for actions that may have resulted in charges if they were over 12.

Turnabout uses a rehabilitative and restorative approach that is seen in mediation, community justice forums and family group conferencing circles. The role of Turnabout is to attempt to assist parents in addressing the underlying issues that caused the child to act out.  This is partly accomplished by a family led assessment of goals, and by providing appropriate referrals for services in the community based on the needs identified by the family.

Examples of some services utilized include:  free and/or subsidized recreational opportunities; clinical referrals; Elder support; mentorship opportunities; program-specific referrals (i.e. anti-gang programs); multi-systems planning meetings and advocacy support.


The main goals of the Turnabout program are to:

  • Prevent a child from having future police contact either as a child, youth or adult;
  • Identify as early as possible children who are demonstrating serious and persistent at-risk behaviors and arrange for them to receive the appropriate services; and
  • Reduce the number of children under 12 coming into conflict with the police.

Turnabout also provides:

  • A centralized province-wide database on children under 12;
  • A centralized referral system for Manitoba policing agencies;
  • The ability to track outcomes for children; and
  • The ability to pull necessary resources together to protect children


Children under 12 years old who are in conflict with the law or at risk at becoming in conflict with the law. Referrals come from law enforcement officers, child welfare agencies, schools, community agencies, private individuals and parents.

Turnabout is a voluntary program so the parent or guardian must consent to work with the Turnabout coordinator. The amount of support provided by Turnabout varies, depending on the family’s need and their willingness to work with the coordinator.

Core Components

  • To offer a single point of entry and a standardized response regardless of where in the province the child lives;
  • To gather, analyze and maintain statistics in relation to children under 12 in conflict with the law; and
  • To reduce the number of children under 12 in conflict with the law by:
    • Promoting reconciliation among children under 12, their victims and the community;
    • Brokering and facilitating services for children under 12; and
    • Helping families and communities identify needs and find/develop appropriate services.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: The Turnabout program requires staff with experience in the social services area.
  • Partnerships: Turnabout has partnerships with the City of Winnipeg and the City of Thompson who both provide free recreation opportunities for children referred to Turnabout and their families. Turnabout also partners with a local Indigenous organization, Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc., to provide mentors for ten of the highest risk children referred to Turnabout in Winnipeg. The majority of referrals will come from the various policing agencies in Manitoba, however many referrals come directly from community organizations, local fire services, child welfare agencies, school personnel, private individuals and parents.
  • Training and technical assistance: Coordinators are trained by Wrap Canada as facilitators in the Canadian High Fidelity Wraparound Model
  • Risk assessment tools: The risk assessment tool used in the Turnabout program is the Early Assessment Risk List (E.A.R.L.) for Girls and Boys. Note: jurisdictions could utilize any best practice risk assessment for children they deemed appropriate.
  • 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

Turnabout is province wide initiative in Manitoba with program coordinators based in Winnipeg and Thompson to cover the northern and southern regions.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

There are no full outcome evaluations available for Turnabout; however some data analysis preliminarily suggests a low re-referral rate for children referred to Turnabout. An administrative report produced by the Winnipeg Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services examined the Turnabout program as a way to prevent and intervene early towards gang’s involvement.Footnote1

Cost Information

Costs vary based on scale of implementation.  In Manitoba, costs are associated directly with staffing and related costs such as training and travel.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Turnabout Coordinator South MB
3rd Floor – 332 Bannatyne Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3A 0E2
Telephone: (204) 945-5609  
E-mail: turnabout@gov.mb.ca   

Turnabout Coordinator North MB
Room 203 – 59 Elizabeth Drive
Thompson MB R8N 1X4
Telephone: (204) 667-6603
E-mail: turnabout@gov.mb.ca  

Todd Clarke
Executive Director
Manitoba Justice, Community Safety Division
Crime Prevention Branch
Telephone: (204) 945-6884

E-mail: todd.clarke@gov.mb.ca

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-14
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: