Youth Crime Prevention Project (YCPP)

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: Academic issues; Social development

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting

Location: Alberta

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention

Brief Description

YCPP provides a restorative, supportive relationship with youth so that they will make positive choices in their lives, not engage in crime, and will successfully participate with their family, school, and community. A Youth Advocate (YA), works in an outreach capacity with youth to develop a service plan, and discuss and resolve any difficulties present at home, in school, or in the community that interferes with the youth’s attendance at school. The YA works with the youth until the youth achieves their goals and/or decides to leave the program and  connects the youth to natural support and resources.


The main goals of this program are to:

  • Encourage youth engagement in school, family, and community;
  • Help youth connect to resources and support available to help them successfully transition into adulthood; and
  • Develop strategies with youth to increase resiliency and protective factors, and decrease risk factors.


The clientele for YCPP are youth in junior and senior high school (ages 11 to 16) that have prior involvement with the criminal justice system and/or are at risk of future involvement with the criminal justice system. Youth are referred through various ways (e.g., through prior organization-school partnerships, self-referral, justice, other social services).

Core Components

Program delivery is grounded in two key models: Natural Supports Framework and the Circle of Courage model. Natural Supports Framework centres on creating a healthier balance between professional (e.g., structured and involves the delivery of service) and natural supports (e.g., informal and locally developed) and focuses on the types of emotions needs that can only be met through family and community supports. The Circle of Courage model integrates Indigenous philosophies of child-rearing, the heritage of early pioneers in education and youth work, and contemporary resilience research. It is based in four universal growth needs of all children: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.

One-on-one meeting with the YA occurred as frequently as required with the youth in the community, with the average length of stay of 6 months in the program.

Implementation Information

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

  • Organizational requirements: Lead organization should have knowledge of existing services, resources; and organizations in the community, lead organization must have solid skills in outreach, intake, case planning, and program delivery.
  • Partnerships: The success of YCPP would not be possible without its partnership with Carya, an organization dedicated to help vulnerable families access the services they need.
  • Training and technical assistance: YA will need training as required by the organization (e.g., ShareVision, First Aid/CPR, ASIST, Diversity, Indigenous, FASD, FOIP)
  • Risk assessment tools: Common Assessment Tool (CAT).
  • 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 YCPP was implemented in Calgary, Alberta from 2017 to 2019 by the Calgary John Howard Society. Funding was provided through the Civil Forfeiture Grant, Government of Alberta.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

A social return on investment (SROI) was conducted on YCPP in 2019. The findings have shown the following:

  • The ratio for YCPP is 8.27:1, which shows that for every dollar invested in the program, an average of $8.27 in social value was created; and
  • This value is realized by a decrease in school drop-out, criminal justice involvement, homelessness.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Calgary John Howard Society

1000 – 4502 Builders Road SE

Calgary, AB, T2G 4C6

Telephone: (403) 266-4566



Record Entry Date - 2021-09-29
Record Updated On - 2022-01-17
Date modified: