Northern Integration Initiative

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Aboriginal/Indigenous; Adult offenders; Gang-involved (and/or at risk); Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Aggressive/violent behaviours; Gang and/or related criminal activities; Recidivism

Setting: Rural/remote area; Community-based setting

Location: Saskatchewan

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: In progress

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

The Northern Integration Initiative is a program that aims to reduce the high number of violent crimes and the number of violent re-offences for youth at risk of joining gangs or engaged in gang-like activities. This program is based on the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP)Footnote1 approach which states that, through frequent contact and consistent support, youth will increase their successes in school, employment, and other targeted areas.

The program is centered on cognitive behavioural therapy; community mobilization; conflict resolution; counselling and social work; leadership and youth development; mentoring – tutoring; skills training; and social emotional learning.

Goals

The main goals of the Northern Integration Initiative are to:

  • Develop supports for high-risk youth that offend violently and may be gang-involved;
  • Reduce violent re-offending among youth, particularly First Nations/Aboriginal youth and young adults, by addressing existing service gaps; and
  • Deliver sufficient targeted services and supports for violent offenders who may be gang-involved to successfully connect with and stay connected to community resources that provide pathways to exit gang life.

Clientele

The appropriate clientele for the Northern Integration Initiative are youth between the ages of 12 and 24 who have a history of violence, have gang affiliation, or are at risk of being recruited into gangs, and who may be at risk of reoffending.

Participants are referred to the Northern Integration Initiative by youth workers, probation officers, or community stakeholders.

To participate in the program, youth must have known patterns of aggressive behaviour with or without formal charges. Youth must also identify as having gang associations and must display motivation or a willingness to accept assistance from the program.

Core Components

The Northern Integration Initiative consists of:

  • Individual community safety plan support: Individualized supports are provided to the identified youth or young adults. These support activities are based on the factors identified as contributing to the offending behaviour;
  • Community-based activities: Youth are provided with opportunities to participate in meaningful community-based programs or activities consistent with risk management and reduction objectives; and
  • Mentoring: Youth identify with a staff member as someone they may contact for support and assistance when needed.

Implementation Information

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, intake and assessment, case planning, and program delivery.
  • Partnerships: It is important that the Northern Integration Initiative collaborate with other government ministries in order to deliver integrated responses to the issue of youth crime. Community-based organizations are another critical element in the ministry’s service delivery continuum designed to meet the needs of a diverse group of youth whose offences span from minor property up to and including serious violent offences.
  • Training and technical assistance: Staff must be trained in the YVRP approach and on how to adequately administer risk assessment tools and identify potential participants.
  • Risk assessment tools: Youth are evaluated using the Saskatchewan Primary Risk Assessment (SPRA) and the Level of Service Inventory – Saskatchewan Youth Edition (LSI-SK).
  • 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

Public Safety Canada's National Crime Prevention Strategy provided funding to implement the Northern Integration Initiative between 2015 and 2020. The Northern Integration Initiative is being implemented by the Government of Saskatchewan.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

The Northern Integration Initiative has been selected for a process and outcome evaluation by Public Safety Canada. As the evaluation is currently in progress, results are not yet available at this time.

Cost Information

No information available.

References

There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Government of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing
710-1874 Scarth Street
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 4B3
Telephone: (306) 787-5699
Website: http://www.justice.gov.sk.ca/CP


Record Entry Date - 2018-03-01

  1. 1

    For more information on the Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP), refer to the program descriptive sheet.

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