Young in Conflict

Explain the nature and extent of substance abuse problems among youth in Canada and Alberta

substance abuse rises at age 12 and it greatest 18-21

alcohol greatest, then weed, then tobacco

TAYES study AB – early onset for girls


What do official sources of crime tell us about the youth accused of drug offences in Canada for the past two decades?
The amount of youth accused has increased but has dipped down since intro of YCJA. Since YCJA, youth are being cleared by toehr means. 
What are the findings of the Alberta Youth Experience Survey in 2008 with regards to substance abuse? What are the limitations of these findings?

Tobacco abuse is low.

Alcohol use is at 50%. Consumption increased significantly by grade. High rates of binge drinking.

16% students used cannabis in last 12 months.

22% used other illicit drugs in last 12 months.

What is the relation between substance abuse and criminal behaviour?
Bidirectional because drug use causes crime and crime causes drug use. 
Explain Paul Goldstein’s (1985) tripartite model to understand the connection between drug use and crime. For each segment of model, explain examples of the crimes youth commit that are related to drugs.

1. Systemic crime

Crime that occurred as part of the system of drug distribution and use.

2. Economic-compulsive crime
Crime committed as a means of generating money to support drug use. 

3.  Psychopharmacological Crime occurred when the use of drugs resulted in change or impairment in cognitive functioning.

Which drugs are more strongly associated with aggression and violence.
Cocaine, LSD, PCP

What are Mandatory Youth Detoxification Legislations? Which provinces have such legislations?


They are addiction services for youth who refuse treatment. Parents can force their children to be confined. Court needs to decide if they are threat to themselves or others.




Youth Drug Detoxification and Stabilization Act and Protection of Children Abusing Drugs

What is PChAD? What are the strengths and limitations of PChAD?

It is the Alberta Mandatory Youth Detoxification Legislation. Protection of Children abusing drugs act 

Held for 5 days. Outpatient treatment. Parents can apply to have youth confined. 

What is polysubstance abuse and psychopharmacologic effect?
Polysubstance abuse is where someone abuses many different substances. How drugs psychologically effect a person.
How have the perspectives on street-involved youth changed over time?

1960s- delinquent runaways

1970s counter culture movements -middle class teens on streets increase 

1980s maltreatment of children

1990s -structural factors- structure of society

21st century ecological factors- 

What factors contribute to the growing number of street youth in Canada?
drugs, abuse, mistreatment, bad family dynamics, lack of social ties.
Describe the factors that lead youth to run away from home and or child placement services?
drugs, abuse, mistreatment, bad family dynamics, lack of social ties.
What risk factors exist in the daily lives of street youth and how are these factors associated with criminal behaviour?
mental health issues, prostitution, diseases, drug and substance abuse, street entrenchment.
Describe how legal contol mechanisms such as the Ontario Safe Streets Act criminalize street involved youth.
Prohibits solicitation and “aggressive” panhandling. Created to counteract squeegee kids. keeps them out of trouble. people who squeegee less like participate in drugs. Fine for first offence: $500. 2nd offence no more than $1000 and a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months.
Define: street youth, steet-involved youth, runaways, homeless, throwaways, survival and obligatory sex, life-cycle model, soliciting in an aggressive manner and soliciting a captive audience

Street Youth: no proper definition

Street involved youth: 25 or younger who do not have proper housing; forced to leave their families of origin, don’t live on street but participate in street activities

Runaways: youth who run away from child-welfare placements or families

homeless: left home and do not return

throwaways: youth who are asked to leave home by parents to end parental responsibility for well-being of youth

survival sex: exchanging sex for money drugs or other

obligatory sex: exchanging sex after receiving service

life-cycle model: series of stages that youth encounter while on the street. Initial engagement -> period of crisis that takes them off the street


What is meant by overrepresentation of Aboriginal youth in the justice system? Provide specific statistics to support answer. What are reasons for overrepresentation?

6% youth in Canada, 30% of youth custody.

High rates of high-school drop-out, unemployment and family violence.

What provisions are outlined in the YCJA for aboriginal youth?

social value to respond to needs of aboriginal young people. 

Custody should be last option for young person, especially aboriginals. Proportion of aboriginals in remand and custody is still increasing.


29+5% boys custody

36+8% girls custody

21+4% boys remand

27+6% girls remand

General Theory of Crime

Hirschi and Gottfredson.

Lack of self-control is main reason for committing crime.

Poor parenting=poor self control

Self-control improves with age

What are the major types of strain in Agnew’s General Strain Theory of Crime?
failure to achieve positively valued goals, removal or threat of positively valued goal, introduction of negative stimuli.
Describe the model of general strain theory of crime by Robert Agnew
Agnew looked at how a person’s life is filled with negative things. Crime can be a way of coping. Constant negativity creates strain which can lead to anger and not caring about what they do, which leads to negative consequences. So continues this cycle.
Describe Age-graded theory of social control.

Seeks to explain why people get involved with offending in the first place, why people keep offending and what leads people away from offending/towards offending. 


Critical events in our lives include peer pressure as teens. Marriage or divorce. job factors. 

Describe Charles Tittle’s Control Balance Theory
This theory explains how the idea of being controlled and the idea of controlling can affect a persons behaviour and possibly lead to crime. Control deficit and control surplus are used to determine a control ratio which can lead to different deviant behaviours.
What are the 6 conditions that control deficit and control surplus will lead to?


Predation – direct forms of physical violence

Defiance – challenges to control mechanisms

Submission – passive obedience



Exploitation – using others to commit crime

Plunder – using power without regard for others

Decadence – spur of the moment irrational actions

Describe Mark Covin’s Differential Coercion Theory.
This theory states that children who are more frequently exposed to coercive environments have control deficits and can increase their probability of committing crime.


Control Balance

Critical Discourse

Control balance is the degree of control that individuals perceive that they have over their environment relative to the degree that they perceive their environment has on them.


Critical Discourse

an approach to socio-linguistics that links discourse with political structure. 

Distinguish between restorative justice and retributive justice.

Restorative justice looks at making the offender accountable to their actions and repairing harm done to the victims.


Retributive justice deals with making the offender accountable to their actions through the use of punishment.

How is the use of restorative justice mandated in the YCJA?
Restorative justice is mandated in the YCJA by using alternative measures insteance of custody. EJM’s and EJS’s are used. it is also a part of the sentencing principles. Sentencing circles. 

define and outline the purpose of:

victim-offender reconciliation

family group conferencing

sentencing circles

peacemaking circles 

community conferencing

Victim-offender reconciliation: mediator helps bring victim and offender together to achieve resolution

Family Group Conferencing: formal meeting with all members of family to try to reach solution

Sentencing Circles: HAS JUSTICE SYSTEM PRESENT invites community members to join other members of community to discuss crime

Peacemaking Circles: First Nations tradition of a sentencing circle

Community Conferencing: focuses of victim-offender reconciliation. Discusses aspects of offence and reaches a joint plan to correct what has happened.

How does the administration of Restorative Justice differs from the New Zealand justice system to the Canadian justice system?
In Zealand, they use family conferencing a lot to try to reach a decision on what should happen. If they are unable then the case goes to court. In Canada the case always goes to court and it is discussed there what the youth should do. The family plays a large part in sentencing in New Zealand. 
How does common delinquency differ from distinctive delinquency?
Common delinquency refers to petty crimes that youth commit. Distinctive delinquency refers to some planned out serious crime. 


Psych-educational model

Boscoville program

Psych-educational model: a model developed in Quebec that followed Boscoville experience. This model deals with intervention of troubled youth. It’s an intense program with a educator who promotes a positive environment for troubled youth. Reteaches youth through interactions to help reintegrate.


Boscoville Program: unique program introduced in 1950’s in Quebec. Based on social welfare and psych-educative model. Designed to teach youth necessary skills, values etc that would develop a sense of social responsibility and would allow them to be reintegrated into society. 

What are the problems in defining a gang and how do the definitional issues hinder the understanding of youth gang problems and subsequently, dealing with it?
It is hard to define a gang because the term can hol many different values. Anything could be considered a gang. Although, the CCC defines a gang as 3 or more persons whose main activities includes facilitation or commission of one or more serious offences. 
What are 3 typologies of gangs?

Street level gangs- not developed, not much income, usually younger in age.

Mid level gangs- Indian Posse, Red Alert. older, make more money, have more organization.

Organized crime groups- Hells Angels. make lots of money. Supplies drugs to other gangs. Very organized.

What can we learn from gang graffiti?
Tells us what gangs are present in the area. If there are 2 gang symbols in one area there could be conflict. 

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