The new model is in response to the “overrepresentation of marginalized, racialized and Indigenous people in the criminal justice system”, the Province says.
The centres are justice hubs that bring together services such as:
- Justice (within the system and the courtroom)
- health (physical)
- mental health
- social services to respond to the needs of the communities they serve.
“A Youth-in-Transition Community Justice Hub will provide critical support to young adults currently spiralling in London’s criminal justice system. Through this Hub, the London Police Service will continue to strengthen links with local health, mental health and addictions agencies, as well as continuing education and employment organizations to improve outcomes for young people and prevent them from falling through the gaps and getting lost in the criminal justice and correctional systems.”
Once established, London’s Youth-in-Transition Community Justice Hub will:
- Support and create preventative programming for young adults at risk of contact with the law.
- Address the age related issues to mental health, substance abuse, education and employment
- Develop programs/solutions to reflect evidence-based data on young adult neurological and emotional development
- Focus on education, training, life skills and employment
Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General hopes that “by providing this holistic approach, it is my hope that we can break the cycle of re-offending by addressing the root cause of the criminal behaviour.”
The provincial budget recently earmarked funds for the initial phases — $5.6 million this year, $4.6 million in 2019-2020 and $3.7 million in 2020-2021. More funding will come as plans are formalized. Design and planning for the centre will begin in fall of 2018. They hope to have the doors open to the community by 2020.
The other cities getting then new centres are Toronto and Kenora.