Crime Reduction and Education Division (CRED)
Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)
Gender: Mixed (male and female)
Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Gang-involved (and/or at risk); Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)
Topic: Gang and/or related criminal activities
Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting
Location: British Columbia
Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 1
Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention
This project amplifies and builds on the achievements of the highly successful Crime Reduction and Education Division (CRED) program, a youth gang intervention and prevention program that intervenes to support female and male youth, including a significant focus on Aboriginal youth, in the Capital Region District (CRD) who are at high risk of gang involvement, youth displaying gang-related behaviors and youth who are gang-entrenched.
Targeted interventions and strengths-based strategies used by the project to support these youth include: one-on-one support plans and assessment; providing information, resources and pro-social opportunities and choices for youth participants, including boys’ and girls’ groups; providing support, resources and information to families and communities; coordinating and collaborating with other youth-serving agencies and actors in the community; supporting Aboriginal youth to engage or re-engage with their communities and cultural resources; and engaging in ongoing information-gathering through online media, walking the streets and networking.
The staff of the CRED program provide presentations to middle school, high schools, parent advisory councils and community to educate youth, parents and caregivers about some of the risks, barriers and supports that can be accessed as a means of prevention and awareness.
The program is centered on conflict resolution; counselling, leadership and youth development; mentoring and intensive case management.
The main goals of the CRED program are to:
- Prevent and reduce the involvement of youth in criminal gangs;
- Prevent and decrease the number of youth who are engaged in gangs or gang-entrenched behaviors; and
- Build the resilience of youth by providing critical opportunities for social, cognitive and emotional development, and by providing targeted intervention support to families and caregivers.
The appropriate clientele for the CRED program are high-risk youth and young adults (ages 12-24) of all genders who have had negative interactions with law enforcement or school officials.
Referrals for the program come from police, school officials, community resources and families.
The CRED program components include the following:
- Individualized intervention – Individualized intervention involves intake assessment, development and implementation of a needs-based intervention plan, and coordination of services and support for the gang-involved youth who have been referred to the program; and
- Positive mentorship – All youth connect with CRED Staff members who serve as mentorship coordinators and work closely with youth involved in the program, staff can provide support and counselling to youth and their families/caregivers.
Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:
- Organizational requirements: The lead organization must have solid skills in outreach, case planning, and program delivery.
- Partnerships: Important partnerships include the School Board, RCMP/City Police, Probation services, City of Victoria, and the Minstry of Children and Family Development.
- Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
- Risk assessment tools: YLS/CMI and PRIME (RCMP Database).
- 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
The CRED program has been implemented in Victoria, British Columbia from 2006 up to now.
Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies
The program has effectively and consistently supported youth in the CRD region. Positive developments have been documented for all youth who have participated in the program to date, including the successful exit of 3 prominent gang leaders within CRD gangs. Referrals have increased and the numbers of youth involved in the program increased month over month as more service providers, families, schools and police are familiar with the program.
- Schools have provided feedback regarding at risk youth returning to school or attending more often.
- Counsellors have supported youth to seek addiction treatment and have seen success in reducing/abstaining from substance use.
- Community partners have provided feedback about youth connected with CRED having accessed other community resources to support positive change.
- Program staff have supported several youth in their effort to exit gang involvement.
- Collaboration with community and building relationships with at risk youth has provided vital information to law enforcement which has resulted in protecting youth and arrests and charges for adult recruiters.
- Reports from families and caregivers have indicated that support has increased ability to relate and connect with youth, provided tools and strategies to effectively parent, knowledge and information to navigate systems involved with the youth and provide increased support and resources for dealing with crisis situations.
- Presentations in middle school, high schools and universities has helped promote awareness, education, information and resources as a prevention strategy and to target early signs of gang recruitment and grooming.
At this time, the program is funded by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for three years, until the end of fiscal year 2021/2022, at $150,000 per year, for a total of $450,000.
There is no Canadian reference available at this time.
For more information on this program, contact:
Pacific Centre Family Services Association
345 Wale Road
Victoria, British Columbia
Record Updated On - 2022-01-17
- Date modified: