Calgary Youth Crime Reduction Program a Resounding Success

A criminal defence lawyer can be a great asset when a young person in Calgary is accused of a crime—ensuring that mistakes made in one's youth don't create a lifetime of trouble is something every Calgary citizen should be able to get behind, and it's a defence lawyer's job.

Preventing Calgary's youth from turning to crime at all is even better, though, and that's exactly what the Youth at Risk Development (YARD) Program has accomplished.

Over the seven-year history of the program, crime among participants has been cut by 41% compared to non-participants, and 54% of the Calgary youth who have participated in the program—which pairs at-risk youth with city social workers and police officers working in mentoring/advisory roles—say their behaviour has been positively affected by their involvement.

Calgary Police share these positive sentiments. The focus on sports, academics, and police mentorship has offered benefits to all involved, children and adults alike.

"It’s a very impressive program...there’s actual proof that it’s working,” said Calgary Police Deputy Chief Daroux. "Ultimately, it reduced victimization"—not just the victims of young people who committed crimes, but of the young people themselves who are often victimized by the wrong type of mentor.

With the right intervention at the right time, Calgary \'s crime rate—and especially its youth crime rate—is expected to continue its current decline, making a better city for everyone. This is something Calgary Police, Calgary families, and Calgary defence lawyers can all smile about.

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