Tyler's Troubled Life
The story of one young man's path towards a life of crime

Abstract

The fictional account of Tyler was developed to illustrate the compounding influence of risk factors on the pathway to criminal offending. The account does not depict any real persons or events, but serves as an illustrative example of a prototypical adolescent offender in Canada. Using cost estimates from Canada, the US, and Australia, average costs are affixed to events in Tyler's life and tallied for a grand total cost of his crimes. The direct costs associated with Tyler's life of crime range from a court appearance by police ($239 CAD) to a 5-year federal prison sentence ($550,000 CAD) and total over $1,400,000 CAD by the time Tyler reaches the age of 30. Three evidence-based interventions are also provided to illustrate the potential cost savings by investing in crime prevention at critical junctures of Tyler's youth, and to highlight the importance of intervening early and often in the life of disadvantaged or at-risk youth.

Author's Note

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Public Safety Canada.

Correspondence concerning this report should be addressed to:
Research Division
Public Safety Canada
340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0P8
Email: PS.CSCCBResearch-RechercheSSCRC.SP@canada.ca


Foreword

In 2014, 94,145 young people were accused of a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada (Boyce, 2015). This represents approximately 4% of the Canadian youth population aged 12-17 years old (Statistics Canada, 2015).

Studies have shown that the majority of Canadians engage in some form of delinquent behaviour during adolescence. Most people eventually outgrow these behaviours and go on to become responsible, productive members of society. However, a small portion of the population continues to commit crimes into adulthood.

Research tells us that certain characteristics increase a person's likelihood of becoming entrenched in crime. These characteristics are called risk factors. Researchers have identified a number of risk factors that have been shown to predict criminal offending later in life, such as early behavioural problems and family conflictNote 1.

Not all individuals exposed to these factors become involved in crime. However, the more risk factors an individual presents, the greater the probability that he or she will become involved in crime. Fortunately, the identification of risk factors related to criminal offending allows us to develop and target effective interventions to reduce an individual's overall risk of becoming involved in crime.

The following story is fictional and does not depict any real persons or events.

In this story, Tyler represents the prototypical adolescent offender in Canada. Tyler's experiences are used to highlight the most common risk factors that affect Canadian youth who become involved in crime, and his life path represents one of many possible outcomes commonly seen in adolescent offenders.

A Note on Costs

It is important to point out that the costs accrued across Tyler's life course touch on different societal sectors. While the majority of these costs are public in nature (e.g., criminal justice, health, education, social services, etc.), a few are private as well. For example, although it is clear that costs to taxpayers include the costs of a police call for service or housing an inmate in a correctional facility, the costs of criminal offences such as damage to property or assault are also absorbed by victims (pain and suffering, loss of productivity) and third parties (e.g., insurance companies).

Thus, the figures expressed at the end of this story as “totals” are largely potential savings to governments and society as a whole, but may also implicate private individuals and companies.

In addition, costs associated with Tyler's custodial sentences have been calculated with the assumption that he remains in custody and serves 100% of each sentence issued. Accordingly, the totals should be assumed to be potential costs when in actuality they may be reduced with an early release.

All listed costs were calculated in 2015 dollars, as of December 4th, except (*) where only 2014 inflation data was available. On December 4, 2015, $1.00 U.S. dollar(s) = $1.28 Canadian dollar(s), at an exchange rate of 1.3365 (using nominal rate). On December 4, 2015, $1.00 Australian dollar(s) = $0.94 Canadian dollar(s), at an exchange rate of 0.9817 (using nominal rate).

Cost estimates were first converted to 2015 dollars using the following tools:

Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator

Reserve Bank of Australia Inflation Calculator

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPI Inflation Calculator

Where necessary, cost estimates were converted to Canadian dollars using the Bank of Canada Currency Converter


Introducing Tyler…

Meet Tyler, a teen on a troubled path towards a life of crime. Tyler had a challenging childhood with a negative family life environment. As a teenager, Tyler rebels against his parents, seems to be perpetually moody and experiences conflicts with his peers. However, unlike the majority of Canadian youth, Tyler continues on a criminal path and eventually ends up in federal prison.

This is Tyler's story.

Tyler's Story

Age 0-2 years

In her last year of high school, Tyler's mother became pregnant. Wanting to keep the baby, but afraid of her parents' disapproval, she moved in with her boyfriend (Tyler's father) and his friends. To support the family, she quit school and began working part-time as a waitress at a local restaurant.

  • Risk Factor: young mother (17 years or younger)

Tyler's father was an unemployed high school dropout with a long history of property crimes. He was known in the neighbourhood for buying and selling stolen electronics, like laptops, TVs and DVDs.

  • Risk Factor: criminal family members

Child and Family Services first began investigating Tyler's living situation after a neighbour called the police to report suspicious activity at the house. When the police arrived, they discovered a large amount of stolen goods, and arrested Tyler's father and his friends. Tyler's father was sentenced to nine months in jail, leaving Tyler's mother to support their son on her own. Tyler's mother could not afford to rent the house with what she made as a waitress, so they had to move to a small apartment in a community housing complex.

  • Police Call for Service per call: $1,142
  • Child Services Per Investigation: $11,261

Although the investigation showed no evidence that Tyler was being physically maltreated, social service workers were concerned about the family's lifestyle and its impact on the child. As such, social services placed custody conditions on Tyler's mother that required her to avoid contact with individuals with a criminal record. In addition, the family had to submit to unscheduled home visits conducted by Children's Aid Society workers.

  • Risk Factor: broken home/family transitions (parental separation)
  • Child Services Home Visits per family: $8,002
  • Risk Factor: family contact with child welfare agency

Age 3-5 years

By the time Tyler was three, he was already displaying problematic behaviour. He had no friends at daycare because he was physically aggressive towards other children, hitting and biting them when they took his toys. Tyler had a loud and hostile demeanour that made other children afraid of him. Following complaints from other parents, the staff eventually asked Tyler's mother to remove him from the daycare. As a result, Tyler had to stay with a neighbour while his mother was at work.

  • Risk Factor: early conduct problems
  • Risk Factor: aggressive behaviour

When Tyler's father was released from prison, he resumed living with his girlfriend (Tyler's mother) and son in the subsidized housing community. Because Tyler was no longer welcome at the daycare, he stayed at home with his father while his mother went to work.

  • Risk Factor: social disadvantage

When left alone with his father, Tyler was ignored while his father watched TV. Tyler often went hours without food. After a few weeks, Tyler began acting out in his mother's absence, breaking his toys and other items around the house.

  • Risk Factor: poor parental monitoring
  • Risk Factor: poor child-rearing methods

Tyler's father rarely even noticed the behaviour unless it interrupted his TV programs, at which point he would yell and hit Tyler repeatedly.

  • Risk Factor: authoritarian parenting

On one occasion, Tyler accidently broke the television remote. His father became furious, grabbed Tyler and threw him against the wall, breaking his arm. Tyler was still crying when his mother came home. After seeing him in pain, she took him to the emergency room, but would not explain to the doctor what had happened to her son's arm. The ER doctor became suspicious and called Child and Family Services to investigate.

  • Risk Factor: low parental empathy
  • Emergency Room Visit: $402
  • Child Services Investigation: $11,261

Child and Family Services investigated Tyler's situation and recommended that Tyler be removed from his parents' care. The case ended up in Family Court when Tyler's parents refused to comply with the custody order. A Family Court judge determined that Tyler was not safe with his parents, and so Tyler was immediately taken into the custody of the Children's Aid Society. Tyler was five years old when he was first placed into the foster care system.

  • Child Custody Hearing: $45,000
  • Risk Factor: involvement with alternative care (foster care)
  • Foster Care: $886 per month for children aged 11 & under

Age 6-10 years

Over the next five years, Tyler lived in three foster homes with three different foster families. Each new placement meant a new school and new classmates. Tyler had an increasingly difficult time adjusting with each subsequent move. He also became increasingly aggressive, both physically and verbally, with his new foster family, often shoving them around and screaming obscenities.

  • Risk Factor: broken home/family transitions (frequent moves)
  • Risk Factor: hyperactivity
  • Risk Factor: adjustment problems
  • Risk Factor: attention problems

In school, Tyler struggled to keep up with his peers. It was his first grade teacher who first recognized that Tyler was having problems, and suggested that his foster parents take him to see a psychologist to have him tested for a learning disability. Tyler was diagnosed with a learning disability and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the age of seven and placed in a special education classroom at school. He was then referred to a child psychiatrist who prescribed medication for his hyperactivity. Despite the positive effects of the medication, Tyler's current foster family could no longer cope with his disruptive, violent behaviour.

  • Risk Factor: poor academic achievement
  • Psychological Assessment: $2,609
  • Special Education: $9,602 per year
  • Initial Psychiatric Assessment: $310
  • ADHD Medication: $1,328 per year

At age eight, Tyler was sent to live with a fourth foster family. The repeated disruptions in his life made it hard for Tyler to make friends in his neighbourhood and at his school. It was also difficult for Tyler to maintain his daily medication schedule, and he would often miss doses. This resulted in more frequent episodes of irritability and disruptive behaviour.

  • Psychiatric Follow-Up: $1,987 for 12 one-hour appointments
  • Risk Factor: poor peer relations (peer rejection)
  • Risk Factor: antisocial behaviour

Child and Family Services kept monitoring Tyler during his time in foster care and encouraged his new foster parents to continue taking Tyler to the psychiatrist. However, Tyler began to refuse to attend the appointments after some children at school found out that he was seeing a “shrink” because he was “crazy”. Tyler was teased constantly at school because of his learning disability and often reacted violently. He became repeatedly involved in physical fights at school and had regular visits to the principal's office. After one particularly bad schoolyard fight, Tyler was suspended by the principal. Tyler refused to take responsibility for the fight, saying that the other boy “deserved what he got”.

  • Risk Factor: lack of responsibility for bad behaviour

Tyler could have benefitted from a targeted, evidence-based intervention at this point in his life.

Age 11-14 years

By the age of 12, Tyler had established a reputation with his classmates and teachers for having a violent temper. In seventh grade, he became friends with a group of boys who were known as troublemakers in the neighbourhood. These boys would steal from the local convenience store and vandalize school property. They told Tyler that to prove himself, he would have to steal a bike from the high school next door and ride it around the neighbourhood. Tyler completed the challenge and officially became “one of the guys”.

Tyler hung out with his friends in the park every day after school and on weekends. The boys would smoke cigarettes they had stolen from their parents. Tyler's foster parents didn't smoke, so instead he stole money from them to buy cigarettes from his friends. On a number of occasions, Tyler's foster parents confronted him about the missing money, but Tyler lied to them and said he knew nothing about it. He even blamed it on his younger foster siblings, saying he saw them take the money.

  • Risk Factor: antisocial peer associates
  • Foster Care: $886 per month for children aged 11 & under; $1,003 per month for children aged 12+

In grade nine, Tyler and his friends began experimenting with alcohol and marijuana. Soon after, the boys began breaking into neighbours' houses and stealing items they could sell to buy drugs and alcohol. These thefts were what prompted Tyler's first encounter with the police, when a neighbour reported seeing Tyler leaving the scene of a break-and-enter across the street. Tyler and two of his friends were charged with break-and-enter, theft under $5,000 and property damage, and were required to report to youth court. Because this was Tyler's first recorded offence, the youth court judge ordered Tyler to provide a written apology to the victims, and pay restitution for the damages he caused and the property he stole.

  • Risk Factor: alcohol/substance abuse
  • Break-and-Enter: $3,208
  • Theft under $5,000: $1,739
  • Damage to Property: $948
  • Police Call for Service: $1,142
  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Arrest of Juvenile: $1,262
  • Youth Court Appearance: $1,275
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239

Tyler could have benefitted from a targeted, evidence-based intervention at this point in his life.

However, Tyler did not comply with the order to repay the victims. One of the victims reported Tyler's refusal to pay to the court and Tyler was brought before a youth court judge a second time for not complying with the first judge's order. This time, Tyler was sentenced to 90 days probation, including the completion of 50 hours of community service. This sentence marked the beginning of Tyler's chronic involvement with the justice system.

  • Youth Court Appearance: $1,275
  • Probation Supervision (90 Days): $523
  • Community Service Supervision: $1,934

According to Alam (2015) at Statistics Canada, the most common sentence for young offenders is probation.

Age 15-17 years

At school, Tyler and his friends rarely attended their classes. When they did show up, they were loud and obnoxious, disrespectful to the teacher and picked fights with their classmates. As a result, Tyler was suspended numerous times. The only times Tyler wasn't a disruption to his class was when he was suspended from school or when he came to class hung-over and just sat with his head down on his desk.

  • Risk Factor: poor regard for school (truancy)
  • Risk Factor: psychosocial immaturity
  • Risk Factor: poor regard for school (suspension)

By the time he was 16, Tyler had begun drinking almost daily. He and his friends attended all the high school parties and often drank until they passed out. Just before he turned 17, Tyler dropped out of school. Instead of going to class, he and his friends would hang around the neighbourhood park to drink and get high on drugs.

At one house party, Tyler became severely intoxicated and ended up in a vicious fight with another partygoer. Tyler punched his opponent in the face and broke his nose. When someone at the party called for an ambulance, Tyler and his friends tried to flee the scene. However, when the police arrived with the ambulance, the partygoers who witnessed the fight were able to provide the police with a description of Tyler and his friends. Tyler didn't get too far before he was picked up by the police and charged with assault.

Tyler appeared in youth court the next morning and pled not-guilty to the assault charge, claiming he had no recollection of the fight. He also suggested that the other youth at the party were trying to frame him. The judge did not believe Tyler's story and sentenced him to six months probation for the assault, including a condition to abide by the curfew set by his current foster parents.

Immediately after Tyler returned home, he got into an argument with his foster mother about his new curfew. He became furious at her and pushed her so hard that she fell down the stairs. Tyler's foster father called the police and Tyler was arrested for a second assault. This time, Tyler was sentenced to six months in a secure youth custody facility.

  • Risk Factor: alcohol and/or drug use
  • Foster Care: $1,003 per month for children age 12+
  • Assault: $2,115
  • Police Call for Service: $1,142
  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Ambulance Transportation: $558
  • Emergency Room Visit: $402
  • Arrest of Juvenile: $1,262
  • Youth Court Appearance: $1,275
  • Probation Supervision (6 months): $1,046
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239
  • Assault: $2,115
  • Police Call for Service: $1,142
  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Ambulance Transportation: $558
  • Emergency Room Visit: $402
  • Arrest of Juvenile: $1,262
  • Youth Court Appearance: $1,275
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239
  • Youth Custody Facility (6 months): $45,000

Tyler could have benefitted from a targeted, evidence-based intervention at this point in his life.

During his time in custody, Tyler made friends with a few of the other boys in the facility. Most of the boys were also charged with property offences, drug offences and minor assaults, and had life stories similar to Tyler's. Tyler became particularly close friends with his roommate Ryan, an experienced drug dealer, who told Tyler about how much money he was making dealing cocaine. As Tyler's only source of income was social assistance, he knew that it would be difficult, without a high school diploma, to find a job that would pay as much as dealing drugs.

  • Risk Factor: antisocial peers associates
  • Social Assistance for High School Drop Out: $681 per month
  • Risk Factor: availability of drugs

Tyler was determined not to return to foster care, so when the two boys were released from the custody facility, they stayed together at another friend's apartment. Tyler eventually became Ryan's "business partner," and the two teens supplied cocaine to much of the neighbourhood. Tyler had only been working with Ryan for a few months when their apartment was raided by the police. Both Tyler and Ryan were arrested for possession and intent to traffic a controlled substance.

  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Arrest of Adult: $1,149
  • Drug Offence/Investigation: $3,452
  • Risk Factor: criminal history

Age 18+ years

By the time he was 18, Tyler had been arrested and charged on five separate occasions. However, this time was different. This time, Tyler was taken to adult court to face drug charges. He received an 18-month sentence for possession with intent to traffic and was sent to an adult facility to serve his time. This was but the first of many times that Tyler would be sent to jail.

  • Adult Court Appearance: $2,810
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239
  • Provincial Custody (18 months): $107,541

Tyler was arrested again in his early twenties for common assault and drug possession and was sentenced to two years less a day in provincial custody. While serving his sentence, Tyler would often participate in inmate activities to pass the time. During a routine game of basketball, Tyler became enraged over a hard foul and assaulted a fellow inmate, causing serious injury. For his actions, Tyler was handed an additional year's sentence to be served consecutively. Upon his release, Tyler returned to his old neighbourhood, met up with old acquaintances and returned to dealing drugs and stealing to make money. Occasionally, Tyler would move in with a girl he just met if he needed a place to stay. This was the case with Katie.

  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Arrest of Adult: $1,149
  • Adult Court Appearance: $2,810
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239
  • Assault: $2,115
  • Drug Offence: $3,452
  • Assault on Inmate: $2,115
  • Emergency Room Visit: $402
  • Provincial Custody (~ 3 years): $218,069
  • Drug Offence: $3,452
  • Theft under $5,000: $1,739

A few months into their relationship, Katie found out she was pregnant. Although Tyler was excited, the responsibility of a child terrified him. Katie insisted that Tyler give up drugs and find a stable job to support them. Money became a source of stress for both Katie and Tyler. As the due date grew closer, the two began fighting more and more.

  • Risk Factor: relationship difficulties

One night during a heated argument, Tyler lost his temper and attacked Katie with a knife from their kitchen and threatened to kill her. A neighbour heard Katie scream and called the police. Tyler was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and uttering threats.

  • Police Call for Service: $1,142
  • Initial Police Contact: $1,912
  • Arrest of Adult: $1,149
  • Ambulance Transportation: $558
  • Emergency Room Visit: $402

Fortunately, both Katie and the baby survived the assault. Once the baby was born, Katie moved out of town and obtained a restraining order against Tyler. Tyler never saw either of them again.

  • Aggravated Assault: $85,795
  • Adult Court Appearance: $2,810
  • Police Attendance at Court: $239
  • Federal Prison (Medium-Security): $552,592

Tyler was found guilty of all charges. He was sentenced to a total of five years in federal custody and ordered to complete mandatory anger management training and substance abuse programs.

  • Anger Management Training: $1,923
  • Substance Abuse Program: $6,502

Today, at the age of 30, Tyler has already spent more than 10 years of his life in custody.

  • Grand Total: $1,403,476

Alternative #1: Stop Now And Plan (SNAP®) program for ages 6-10 years

SNAP® (STOP NOW AND PLAN) is a cognitive-behavioural strategy that teaches children and parents how to regulate angry feelings by having them stop and think about positive alternatives before they react to a situation. Groups of children engage in role-playing exercises and practice strategies to help them stop and think before they act. Additionally, parents attend similar training sessions so that they are able to help their children practice the new problem-solving strategies at home.

SNAP® is an award-winning evidence-based model that has been subjected to rigorous evaluation and has demonstrated positive treatment outcomes among children under the age of 12 with conduct and related behavioural problems. SNAP® has been shown to help children make better choices and control impulsive and aggressive behaviours that could lead to future contact with the police.

Delinquency, major aggression and minor aggression decrease significantly after participation in SNAP® (Koegl, Farrington, Augimeri, & Day, 2007). The cost of delivering the program for a high risk participant is approximately $6,700 (Chettleburgh, 2014). Tyler's estimated future criminal costs from age 11 on, if no intervention were to take place, is $1,204,406.65. Therefore, by successfully implementing this intervention at age 10, the potential criminal trajectory costs avoided could be an estimated $1,197,706.65.

Calculations of Potential Cost Savings
Tyler's total crimes, all years $ 1,403,476.17
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 0-2 - $ 20,405.43
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 3-5 - $ 67,291.85
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 6-10 - $ 111,372.24
Tyler's future costs with no intervention, age 11-30 $ 1,204,406.65
Minus cost of SNAP intervention - $ 6,700.00
Potential Cost Savings $ 1,197,706.65

Other SNAP® programs:

SNAP® Girls
In 1996, the SNAP® model became gender-sensitive with the launch of its SNAP® Girls Connection program (now called SNAP® Girls), the first-ever sustained, gender-specific program for troubled girls and their families.

SNAP® Youth Justice
SNAP® Youth Justice aims to reduce the risk of further contact with the law and/or gang membership among males between the ages of 12 and 19 who are involved in the youth justice system.

SNAP® Schools
SNAP® Schools (SNAP-S) offers one-day training sessions in communities across Canada where a SNAP affiliate site has been established and is delivering SNAP® Boys and SNAP® Girls programs. A more comprehensive 13-week in-class program based on the SNAP® Model can also be offered.

Alternative #2: Youth Inclusion Program (YIP) for ages 11-14 years

The Youth Inclusion Program (YIP) is a neighbourhood-based program that aims to reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour by creating a safe place where youth can learn new skills, take part in activities and get help with their education. The program workers and volunteer mentors act as positive role models who help to change young people's attitudes towards education and crime. The goal of the program is to prevent young people from entering the criminal justice system and/or reduce offending by young people already in the system by intervening at the individual, family and community levels.

Interventions address the risk factors that brought the youth to the attention of program staff in the first place. The focus of the program differs depending on the specific needs of each participant. Program activities include education and training, the arts, culture and media, mentoring, health and drugs education, motor programs, outreach and detached work, sports, group development, the environment, personal assessment, and family programming (National Crime Prevention Centre, 2008).

The average cost of delivering the program for each participant is approximately $8,485 (Gagnon & Duncan, 2014). However, if no intervention is made, Tyler's estimated future criminal costs age 15 on is $1,142,223.50. Therefore, by successfully implementing this intervention at age 14, the criminal trajectory costs avoided could be an estimated $1,133,738.50.

Calculations of Potential Cost Savings
Tyler's total crimes, all years $ 1,403,476.17
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 0-2 - $ 20,405.43
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 3-5 - $ 67,291.85
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 6-10 - $ 111,372.24
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 11-14 - $ 62,183.15
Tyler's future costs with no intervention, age 15-30 $ 1,142,223.50
Minus cost of YIP intervention - $ 8,485.00
Potential Cost Savings $ 1,133,738.50

Alternative #3: Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for ages 15-17 years

The Multisystemic Therapy (MST) model is designed to address a young person's risk of becoming further involved in the criminal justice system. MST targets youth who are already involved in the juvenile justice system and are at risk of being imprisoned. It provides intensive therapy either in the family's home or wherever the family feels most comfortable. MST is a family- and community-based treatment model that addresses antisocial behaviour in juveniles. MST focuses on eliminating risk factors that cause this behaviour, such as low verbal skills, lack of mentoring, ineffective discipline, parental difficulties, association with deviant peers, poor relationship skills, school dropout, low commitment to education, criminal subculture and low community support. The main goals of MST are to improve parental discipline practices, decrease association with delinquent peers, increase association with prosocial peers, improve school performance, and develop a positive support network for the youth that includes extended family, neighbours and friends.

During the program's initial sessions, the problems needing attention are identified and the necessary services are coordinated. The intervention is not solely concentrated on the child, particularly if there are other familial or relationship issues present. The specific intervention strategies used are strategic family therapy, structural family therapy, behavioural parent training and cognitive behavioural therapies. The MST program typically consists of 60 hours of treatment over a period of four months. This time period, however, may be adjusted to suit the individual needs of the family.

Evaluations of the MST program demonstrate that juvenile offenders who have received treatment experience reductions in long-term rates of arrest between 25% and 70%. Additionally, program participants experience 47% to 64% fewer out-of-home placements, and have improved family functioning and decreased mental health problems (MST: Multisystemic Therapy, 2010).

The cost of implementing the MST program is approximately $4,743 per youth. However, the estimated cost of Tyler's future criminal involvement, from age 18-30, is $892,478.79. Therefore, by successfully implementing this intervention at age 17, the potential cost savings could be an estimated $887,735.79.

Calculations of Potential Cost Savings
Tyler's total crimes, all years $ 1,403,476.17
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 0-2 - $ 20,405.43
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 3-5 - $ 67,291.85
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 6-10 - $ 111,372.24
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 11-14 - $ 62,183.15
Minus Tyler's estimated costs before intervention, age 15-17 - $ 249,744.71
Tyler's future costs with no intervention, age 18-30 $ 892,478.79
Minus cost of MST intervention - $ 4,743.00
Potential Cost Savings $ 887,735.79
Cost Estimates – Tyler's Troubled Life

Cost per Unit of Service (as reported by original source)

Total Calculated Cost (in 2015 Canadian Dollars)

0-2 years

Police Call for Service
$1,085 Canadian Dollars (CAD) (2011) per callNote 2

$1,141.87

Child Services Investigation
$7,728 American Dollars (USD) (2010) per investigationNote 3

$11,261.25

Child Services Home Visits
$5,962 USD (2014) per familyNote 4

$8,002.31

Period Total

$20,405.43

3-5 years

Emergency Room Visit
$385 CAD (2012) per visitNote 5

$401.84

Child Services Investigation
$7,728 USD (2010) per investigationNote 6

$11,261.25

Child Custody Hearing
$15,000 CAD (1998) per day of trialNote 7

$45,000.00

Foster Care
$803.81 CAD (2009) per monthNote 8 for one year
(rate for children age 11 & under)

$10,628.76

Period Total

$67,291.85

6-10 years

Foster Care
$803.81 CAD (2009) per monthNote 9  for 5 years
(rate for children age 11 & under)

$53,143.80

Comprehensive Psychological Assessment
$2,500 CAD (2012)Note 10

$2,609.32

Special Education
$9,200 CAD (2012) per student per year for 5 yearsNote 11

$48,011.55

Initial Psychiatric Assessment
$300.70  CAD (2013) per assessmentNote 12

$310.01

ADHD Medication
Average of $106 CAD (2012) per monthNote 13 for 4 years (age 7-10)

$5,310.72

Psychiatry Follow-Up
$160.60 CAD (2013) per appointmentNote 14 for 12 one-hour appointments

$1,986.84

Period Total

$111,372.24

11-14 years

Foster Care
$803.81 CAD (2009) per month for 1 year (rate for children age 11 & under); and $909.95 CAD (2009) per month for 3 years (rate for children age 12-19)Note 15

$46,725.60

Break-and-Enter
$ 2,322 USD (2013) per offenceNote 16

$3,208.12

Theft under $5,000
$1,259 USD (2013) per offenceNote 17

$1,739.45

Damage to Property
$860 CAD (2009) per vandalism eventNote 18

$947.65

Police Call for Service
$1,085 CAD (2011) per callNote 19

$1,141.87

Initial Police Contact
$1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 20

$1,912.00

Arrest of Juvenile
$896 USD (2012) per arrestNote 21

$1,262.22

Youth Court Appearance
$1,275 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 22

$ 1,275.00

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 23– 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Youth Court Appearance
$1,275 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 24

$1,275.00

Probation Supervision
$5.81 CAD (2015) per dayNote 25 (3 months - ~90 days)

$522.90

Community Service Supervision
$38.68 CAD (2015) per hourNote 26 for 50 hours

$1,934.00

Period Total

$62,183.15

15-17 years

Foster Care
$909.95 CAD (2009) per monthNote 27 for 3 years
(rate for children age 12-19)

$36,096.84

Assault
$2,030 AUD (2012) per assaultNote 28

$2,115.48*

Police Call for Service
$1,085 CAD (2011) per callNote 29

$1,141.87

Initial Police Contact
$ 1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 30

$1,912.00

Ambulance Transport
$530 CAD (2011) per rideNote 31

$557.78

Emergency Room Visit
$385 CAD (2012) per visitNote 32

$401.84

Arrest of Juvenile
$896 USD (2012) per arrestNote 33

$1,262.22

Youth Court Appearance
$ 1,275 per CAD (2015) youthNote 34

$1,275.00

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 35 - 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Probation Supervision
$5.81 CAD (2015) per dayNote 36 (6 months - ~180 days)

$1,045.80

Assault
$2,030 AUD (2012) per assaultNote 37

$2,115.48*

Police Call for Service
$1,085 CAD (2011) per callNote 38

$1,141.87

Initial Police Contact
$ 1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 39

$1,912.00

Ambulance Transport
$530 CAD (2011) per rideNote 40

$557.78

Emergency Room Visit
$385 CAD (2012) per visitNote 41

$401.84

Arrest of Juvenile
$896 USD (2012) per arrestNote 42

$1,262.22

Youth Court Appearance
$ 1,275 per CAD (2015) youthNote 43

$1,275.00

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 44 – 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Youth Custody Facility
$250 CAD (2015) per dayNote 45 (6 months - ~180 days)

$45,000.00

Initial Police Contact
$ 1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 46

$1,912.00

Arrest of Adult
$1,103 AUD (2012) per arrestNote 47

$1,149.45*

Drug Trafficking/Possession
$1,890.00 USD (2001) per arrest/investigationNote 48

$3,451.68

Adult Court Appearance
$2,696 AUD (2012) per adult per appearanceNote 49

$2,809.54*

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 50 – 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Provincial Custody
$196 CAD (2014) per dayNote 51 for 18 months (~540 days)

 

$107,541.00

Social Assistance for High School Dropout
$681 CAD (2015) per monthNote 52 for 4 years (age 17 to 30, minus 10 years incarcerated)

 

$32,688.00

Period Total

$249,744.71

18+ years

Initial Police Contact
$ 1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 53

$1,912.00

Arrest of Adult
$1,103 AUD (2012) per arrestNote 54

$1,149.45*

Adult Court Appearance
$2,696 AUD (2012) per adult per appearanceNote 55

$2,809.54*

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 56 – 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Assault
$2,030 AUD (2012) per assaultNote 57

$2,115.48*

Drug Trafficking/Possession
$1,890 USD (2001) per arrest/investigationNote 58

$3,451.68

Assault on inmate
$2,030 AUD (2012) per assaultNote 59

$2,115.48*

Emergency Room Visit
$385 CAD (2012) per visitNote 60

$401.84

Provincial Custody
$196 CAD (2014) per dayNote 61  for 2 years less a day + 1 additional year

$218,069.25

Theft under $5,000
$1,259 USD (2013) per incident of theftNote 62

$1,739.45

Drug Trafficking/Possession
$1,890 USD (2001) per arrest/investigationNote 63

$3,451.68

Police Call for Service
$1,085 CAD (2011) per callNote 64

$1,141.87

Initial Police Contact
$ 1,912 CAD (2015) per person per yearNote 65

$1,912.00

Arrest of Adult
$1,103 AUD (2012) per arrestNote 66

$1,149.45*

Ambulance Transport
$530 CAD (2011) per rideNote 67

$557.78

Emergency Room Visit
$385 CAD (2012) per visitNote 68

$401.84

Aggravated Assault
$55,000 USD (2007) per assaultNote 69

$85,795.33

Adult Court Appearance
$2,696 AUD (2012) per adult per appearanceNote 70

$2,809.54*

Police Attendance at Court
$79.78 CAD (2015) per officer per hourNote 71 – 3 hour minimum

$239.34

Federal Prison Sentence
$298 CAD (2014) per dayNote 72 for 5 years

$552,591.75

Violence Prevention Program – Moderate Intensity
$1,745 CAD (2009) per participantNote 73 for 75 hours

$1,922.84

Substance Abuse Program – Moderate Intensity
$4,601 USD (2011) per participantNote 74

$6,501.86

Period Total

$892,478.79

Grand Total

$1,403,476.17

References

Alam, S. (2015). Youth court statistics in Canada, 2013/2014. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

Boyce, J. (2015). Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2014. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

Chettleburgh, M. (2014). Final evaluation report: SNAP® multisite program implementation in Edmonton, Toronto and Cree Nation. Final Evaluation Report. Submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada (Unpublished report).

Day, D. M., et al. (2011). Long-term follow-up of criminal activity with adjudicated youth in Ontario. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

Gagnon, N., & Duncan, L. (2014). Youth Inclusion Program Evaluation: Final Report. Report submitted to the National Crime Prevention Centre by the NRG Research Group, Public Safety Canada: Ottawa, ON (Unpublished report).

Koegl, C. J., Farrington, D. P., Augimeri, L. K., & Day, D. M. (2007). Evaluation of a targeted cognitive-behavioral program for children with conduct problems – The SNAP® Under 12 Outreach Project: Service intensity, age and gender effects on short- and long-term outcomes. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry Copyright, 13(3), 419–434.

McCollister, K. E., French, M. T., & Fang, H. (2010). The cost of crime to society: New crime-specific estimates for policy and program evaluation. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 108, 98–109.

Morgan Harris Burrows. (2003). Evaluation of the Youth Inclusion Programme: End of phase one report. London, UK: Youth Justice Board.

MST: Multisystemic Therapy. (2015). Results. Cost Effectiveness. Available from http://mstservices.com/

National Crime Prevention Centre. (2008) Promising and model crime prevention programs. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

Statistics Canada (2015). Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories, 2014 (Statistics Canada CANSIM Table 051-0001). Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

Endnotes

  1. 1

    Piquero, A. R., Hawkins, J.D. & Kazemian, L. (2012). Criminal Career Patterns. In R. Loeber & D.P. Farrington (Eds.), From Juvenile Delinquency to Adult Crime: Criminal Careers, Justice Policy, and Prevention (14-46). New York: Oxford University Press.

  2. 2

    Call for service cost figure estimated based on figures from: Toronto Police Service. (2011). 2011 Statistical Report. Retrieved from:  http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/publications/files/reports/2011statsreport.pdf.

  3. 3

    Fang, X., Brown, D. S., Florence, C. S., & Mercy, J. A. (2012). The economic burden of child maltreatment in the United States and implications for prevention. Child Abuse & Neglect, 36(2), 156-165.

  4. 4

    Burwick, A. et al. (2014).  Costs of Early Childhood Home Visiting: An Analysis of Programs Implemented in the Supporting Evidence-Based Home Visiting to Prevent Child Maltreatment Initiative - Final Report. Princeton, NJ: Mathematic Policy Research. Retrieved from http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/~/media/publications/PDFs/earlychildhood/EBHV_costs.pdf.

  5. 5

    David Cummings Insurance Services. (2012) Canadian Hospital Rates. Retrieved from: http://www.david-cummings.com.

  6. 6

    Fang et al.

  7. 7

    Urquhart v. Urquhart, 1998 CanLII 5667 (NS SC). Retrieved from: http://canlii.ca/t/641t.  retrieved on 2015-12-03. Costing precedent still in use today as per MacKenzie, T. (2009) How to handle costs in family law. Retrieved from: http://canadian-lawyers.ca/Understand-Your-Legal-Issue/Family-Law/How-to-handle-costs-in-family-law.html.
    Information on average trial length (3 days) was taken from: Ontario Ministry of Attorney General (2015). Ontario Civil Justice Review. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/cjr/firstreport/cost.php.

  8. 8

    Government of British Columbia. Ministry of Children and Family Development (n.d.). Becoming a foster parent. Levels of care. Available from: http://www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/foster/levels.htm

  9. 9

    Government of British Columbia, Becoming a foster parent.

  10. 10

    Fee for psychological assessment estimated using a variety of sources including private clinics, educational institutions and government agencies in Ontario. Fees range from $800 to $3,000 with the average fee being approximately $2,500.

  11. 11

    Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Education. (2011). Operating grants manual. Retrieved from: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/k12funding/funding/11-12/operating-grants-manual.pdf

  12. 12

    Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. (2013). Schedule of Benefits for Physician Services under the Health Insurance Act 2013.
    Note: Fee for Special Psychiatric Consultation.

  13. 13

    Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. (n.d.). Evaluating prescription drugs used to treat: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Retrieved from: http://consumerhealthchoices.org/.
    Note: Methylphenidate price ranges from $15-197, with an average of ~$106 a month.

  14. 14

    Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. (2013). Schedule of Benefits for Physician Services under the Health Insurance Act 2013.
    Note: Estimated fee for a one hour appointment. Current fee for out-patient psychiatric care is $80.30 per unit (half-hour). One hour = 2 units.

  15. 15

    Government of British Columbia, Becoming a foster parent.

  16. 16

    Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2013). Uniform crime reports: Table 23, Offense Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2013/crime-in-the-u.s.-2013/tables/table-23/table_23_offense_analysis_number_and_percent_change_2012-2013.xls.

  17. 17

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform crime reports.

  18. 18

    Zhang, T., Hoddenbagh, J., McDonald, S., & Scrim, K. (2012). An estimation of the economic impact of spousal violence in Canada, 2009. Ottawa, ON: Department of Justice Canada.
    Note: Property crimes including beak and enter, motor vehicle theft, theft of personal property and vandalism.

  19. 19

    Call for service cost figure estimated, 2011 Statistical Report. Toronto Police Service.

  20. 20

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Government of Alberta. (2015). Social Return on Investment (SROI) Case Study: Safe Communities Innovation Fund. In Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries (p. 68). Retrieved from http://alberta.ca/index.cfm.

  21. 21

    National Juvenile Justice Network. (2013). Fiscal Policy Center toolkit: How to calculate the cost of a youth arrest. Washington, DC: National Juvenile Justice Network.

  22. 22

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  23. 23

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court (mandatory minimum paid for each court appearance) at $79.78 per hour per police constable as reported by the Ottawa Police Service 2015 Paid Duty Rates. Retrieved from: http://ottawapolice.ca/en/ServingOttawa/PaidDuty.aspx.

  24. 24

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  25. 25

    Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. (2015). 2015 Annual Report. Toronto, ON: Queen's Printer for Ontario. Retrieved from: http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/reports_2014_en.htm.

  26. 26

    Government of Alberta. (2015). OCCinfo: occupations and educational programs – Occupational profile- Parole or probation officers. Retrieved from: http://occinfo.alis.alberta.ca/occinfopreview/info/browse-occupations/occupation-profile.html?id=71001858

  27. 27

    Government of British Columbia, Becoming a foster parent.

  28. 28

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A. (2012). Targeting crime prevention: Identifying communities which generate chronic and costly offenders to reduce offending, crime, victimisation and Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system - Report to the Criminology Research Advisory Council (Grant: CRG 38/10-11).

  29. 29

    Call for service cost figure estimated, 2011 Statistical Report. Toronto Police Service.

  30. 30

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  31. 31

    Fraser Health Authority. (2011). Patient Transportation Fees. Retrieved from http://www.fraserhealth.ca/your-stay/billing-and-fees/patient-transportation/patient-transportation-fees.

  32. 32

    David Cummings Insurance Services, Canadian Hospital Rates.

  33. 33

    National Juvenile Justice Network, Fiscal Policy Center toolkit.

  34. 34

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  35. 35

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court.

  36. 36

    Office of the Auditor General of Ontario, 2015 Annual Report.

  37. 37

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  38. 38

    Call for service cost figure estimated, 2011 Statistical Report. Toronto Police Service.

  39. 39

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  40. 40

    Fraser Health Authority, Patient Transportation Fees.

  41. 41

    David Cummings Insurance Services, Canadian Hospital Rates.

  42. 42

    National Juvenile Justice Network, Fiscal Policy Center toolkit.

  43. 43

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  44. 44

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court.

  45. 45

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  46. 46

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  47. 47

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  48. 48

    Aos, S., Phipps, P., Barnoski, R., & Liebet, R. (2001). The comparative costs and benefits of programs to reduce crime. Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

  49. 49

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  50. 50

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court.

  51. 51

    Correctional Services Program. (2015). Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2013/2014. (Catalogue no. 85-002-X). Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.

  52. 52

    Income Security Advocacy Centre. (2015). OW and ODSP Rates and OCB as of Oct 2015. Retrieved from http://incomesecurity.org/resources/publications/

  53. 53

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  54. 54

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  55. 55

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  56. 56

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court.

  57. 57

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  58. 58

    Aos, S., Phipps, P., Barnoski, R., & Liebet, R., The comparative costs and benefits of programs.

  59. 59

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  60. 60

    David Cummings Insurance Services, Canadian Hospital Rates.

  61. 61

    Correctional Services Program, Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2013/2014.

  62. 62

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform crime reports.

  63. 63

    Aos, S., Phipps, P., Barnoski, R., & Liebet, R., The comparative costs and benefits of programs to reduce crime.

  64. 64

    Call for service cost figure estimated, 2011 Statistical Report. Toronto Police Service.

  65. 65

    Neighbourhood Development Team, Safe Communities Innovation Fund Pilot Project Executive Summaries.

  66. 66

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  67. 67

    Fraser Health Authority, Patient Transportation Fees.

  68. 68

    David Cummings Insurance Services, Canadian Hospital Rates.

  69. 69

    Cohen, M. A., & Piquero, A. R. (2009). New evidence on the monetary value of saving a high risk youth. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25, 25-49.
    Note: Estimate for cost of aggravated assault includes victim costs, criminal justice costs and lost offender productivity costs.

  70. 70

    Allard, T., Chrzanowski, A., & Stewart, A., Targeting crime prevention.

  71. 71

    Fee estimated for 3 hours in court.

  72. 72

    Correctional Services Program, Adult correctional statistics in Canada, 2013/2014.

  73. 73

    Correctional Service Canada. (2009). Correctional program descriptions. Retrieved from http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/prgrm/cor-pro-2009-eng.shtml#_Toc231830447.
    Note: Program is considered moderate intensity (75 hours) and costs $520,035 CAD (2009) for 298 participants. Therefore, the program costs approximately $1,834 CAD (2011) per participant.

  74. 74

    Washington State Department of Corrections as cited in Lee, S., Aos, S., Drake, E., Pennucci, A., Miller, M., & Anderson, L. (2012). Return on investment: Evidence-based options to improve statewide outcomes, April 2012 (Document No. 12-04-1201). Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

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