Det. Stella Karras Detective
The Youth Pre-Charge Diversion Program is a community based alternative that addresses less serious crimes committed by young people between the ages of 12 and 17.
In June of 2015 the Toronto Police Services Board requested the Toronto Police Service (TPS) to create and implement a city-wide pre-charge diversion program in keeping with the Extra Judicial Measures provisions as set out in Sub-Section 6(1), of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) and in accordance with the principles set out in Section 4 and the objectives set out in Section 5, of the YCJA. Pre-Charge Diversion Programs are a community based alternative to addressing less serious incidents of crime reported to police such as: shoplifting, minor assault, and mischief; committed by young people between the ages of 12 and 17 years. Their purpose is not only to reduce the amount of young people entering the justice system, but to provide meaningful intervention at critical times of their lives.
The Youth programs Coordinator partnered with the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) to develop the TPS program.
On June 19th, 2017 the TPS launched the Youth Pre-Charge Diversion Program (YPDP). It has been managed by the Youth Programs Coordinator who is responsible for quality control and running now for 3 months. We have received over 50 youth thus far into the program.
Most Divisions in this City have not had any kind of a Diversion Program previously. The need for training on this new option and the proper steps required to successfully enter a youth into the program is critical. The Youth Programs Coordinator trained a representative from each Division on the details of the YPDP.
Now it will be beneficial to attend each Division and platoon over time and directly speak with the officers on the road about the benefits of the program and the procedures to follow.
The next step will be to partner with an educational institution to conduct an independent evaluation of the program.