Effective, just and humane responses
to the causes and consequences of crime

Does deterrence work?

by Chris Hay, Executive Director, John Howard Society of Alberta What is the purpose of the criminal justice system?  Does it exist for rehabilitation?  For changing behavior?  For societal protection?  For show?  For the creation of safer communities?  For punishment?  For deterrence?  One could argue that it is here for each of these and possibly…

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Video: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

This video was produced as part of the Criminal Justice Education program. It was designed for use by Criminal Justice Educators (CJEs) in classroom presentations to illustrate particular aspects of the criminal justice system in Alberta as it applies to minors (under 18 years of age). While the CJE program has been discontinued, this video…

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Summer activities that may help prevent crime

With summer fast approaching for teachers and students, everyone is thinking about one thing: what will I do this summer? Among the many recreational activities in which you can get involved, you may be interested in learning that some may actually help to make your community safer. Here’s a look at a few summertime projects…

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Gang prevention: 3 information sources for teachers

Teachers come face to face with the problem of gangs every day, as they see their students involved in gangs or at risk of becoming involved. What can they do to help these students? This blog post lists three sources of information on gangs specifically or partially aimed at teachers. First, the British Columbia government has…

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Interactive fiction in the classroom

If you’re of a certain age, you’ve likely heard of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, or a similar type of book. If you haven’t, the concept is simple: as you read the book, the story can change based on decisions you make. For example, you might reach a point in the book where you’re…

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Video series on the Youth Criminal Justice Act

Teachers: Back in 2013, Justice Canada released a six-part video series that summarizes and introduces the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA). (The videos are viewable as one large video here, but it’s a Flash-based player which won’t work on some mobile devices. Plus, it may be more convenient for classroom discussion to have them in…

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Fun educational sites about criminal justice

Let’s be honest – some subjects are difficult to teach because students think they’re boring. This presents a challenge for teachers to look for ways to make the subject more interesting. Bringing in a bit of fun, making it into a game, or any other kind of interesting twist may spark student interest in a subject. Learning…

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The YCJA: How did we get here? (Part 4)

In parts one, two and three in this series, we looked at youth in the criminal justice system from Canada’s earliest days as a country, to the first legislation specifically designed for youth. In this final installment of our series, we’ll be looking at the direct ancestor of today’s Youth Criminal Justice Act: the Young…

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The YCJA: How did we get here? (Part 3)

In the previous installments of this series (Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve seen how the treatment of youth by the criminal justice system had evolved in Canada’s early history. In part 3, we’ll look at the first piece of legislation designed to directly address youth: the Juvenile Delinquents Act of 1908. The Juvenile Delinquents…

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The YCJA – How did we get here? (Part 2)

How did we arrive at today’s Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA)? In Part 1 of this blog post series, we looked at the very early history of the criminal justice system in Canada as it applied to youth. In this instalment, we’ll focus on the beginnings of reform, and the conflict that ensued, leading to…

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