RCMP Intervention and Diversion Program

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

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

Topic: Antisocial/deviant behaviours; Crime issues involving a mental health disorder or other health disorder

Setting: Rural/remote area; Urban area; Criminal justice setting

Location: New Brunswick

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The RCMP Intervention and Diversion Program operates at the level of extrajudicial measures and provides a community-based means of addressing youth offending. The program is based on the evidence-based Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) Model of Correctional Treatment. Consistent with this model, the program focuses on reducing a young person’s risk of re-offending by: addressing the criminogenic needs of the young person; providing intervention at an intensity in keeping with the young person’s level of criminogenic risk; and attending to responsivity factors by matching the unique attributes of the young person with community programs and services whose approaches are consistent with the cognitive behavioral and social learning theories underpinning the model.


The main goals of the RCMP Intervention and Diversion Program are to:

  • Identify and provide interventions related to a young person’s mental health needs at the earliest point of contact with the youth criminal justice system;
  • Reduce a young person’s likelihood of re-offending by addressing the risk factors associated with the offending behaviour; and
  • Provide timely and meaningful community-based responses to a young person’s offending behaviour.


Consistent with the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the RCMP Intervention and Diversion program requires that police officers give first consideration to the use of extrajudicial measures to hold a young person accountable for his/her offending behaviour. Any young person, age 12-17, who has committed an offence is eligible to be referred to the program, provided that the young person has not committed a serious violent or impaired driving offence. The program is voluntary and consent based. Young persons who agree to participate are referred, pre-charge, directly to RCMP Community Program Officers.  

Core Components

The RCMP Intervention and Diversion Program components include the following:

  • Criminogenic risk screening and assessment;
  • Mental health screening;
  • Case conferencing with community partners;
  • Intervention planning to address the risk factors associated with the young person’s offending and identified mental health needs; and
  • Linkage into appropriate community-based programs and services.

The intervention dosage associated with the program is dependent on the level of risk identified in the screening and assessment process. 

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Divisional leadership; clearly articulated policies and procedures for adherence to the RNR process and mental health screening; cooperation of front-line police officers in making timely referrals; commitment of resources to the program, specifically adequate staffing to carry out the program as well as the purchase of the necessary screening and assessment tools; commitment to ongoing training of staff; policies and procedures related to records management and statistical reporting; compliance with licensing requirements for program-related tools; and an organization commitment to ongoing evaluation of program effectiveness.
  • Partnerships: Community partnerships are a critical aspect of this program, particularly the partnership of child welfare agencies; employment and skills development agencies; and education, public safety, mental health and addictions services. These partner agencies are relied upon to provide staff representation for case conferencing but also to provide programs and services to address both the identified mental health and criminogenic needs of program participants.
  • Training and technical assistance: Training is required to ensure adherence to the RNR Model of Correctional Treatment.  Training is also required to ensure fidelity to the use of the criminogenic risk screening and assessment tools, and to the mental health screener.
  • Risk assessment tools: Criminogenic risk screening and assessment tools used for the program include the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory: Screening Version and the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory 2.0, as well as the mental health screening tool, Global Appraisal of Individual Needs-Short Screener version 3.0.1 CAMH (Modified).
  • Materials & resources: Risk Screening and Assessment tools, Mental Health Screening tool, Risk Assessment Interview Guides, Scoring Keys, program-related forms (consents, program agreements, etc.)

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 RCMP Youth Intervention and Diversion Program has been implemented in the RCMP “J” Division (New Brunswick). It has also been implemented in other provinces and territories, in different forms, including Alberta, Nova Scotia and Nunavut.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

No information available.


Dyck, H. (2016).  Implementation Review of Intervention and Diversion. Prepared for RCMP “J” Division.

For more information on this program, contact:

“J” Division, Crime Reduction Unit
Rhonda Stairs
1445 Regent Street
Fredericton, New Brunswick
E-mail: rhonda.stairs@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Telephone: (506) 324-4733

Record Entry Date - 2018-03-09
Record Updated On - 2021-04-29
Date modified: