Through a partnership between the RCMP, B Division (Newfoundland and Labrador), and Dr. Ricciardelli (Memorial University) we are working to make sure that youth who come in contact with the law are getting the opportunity to "make it right". Extrajudicial measures, or EJMs, in the form of community referrals are a way for police to divert youth away from the formal justice system and instead help youth connect with their communities as well as local police officers. The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) allows for EJMs, and the partnership and pilot project, is supporting the RCMP efforts.
Over the past three years, RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador and faculty and students from Memorial’s department of sociology collaborated with RCMP detachments and communities to initiate a pilot project geared towards successfully implementing EJMs. EJMs are designed to encourage relationships between youth and their communities, as well as individual officers and the communities in which they police.
The partnership, founded by former Assistant Commissioner(s) Tracy Hardy and Andrew Boland with Associate Professor Dr. Rose Ricciardelli of Memorial’s department of sociology, now led by Assistant Commissioner Peter Clark, and Sergeant Patricia Reid, of the RCMP, and Dr. Rose Ricciardelli, plays a vital role in filling the gaps in the Youth Criminal Justice Act implementation in Newfoundland and Labrador. The partnership has ensured that decision-making processes related to youth and crime are based on research that is connected to the communities in the province. Each partner brings different, yet complementary, skills and resources to the project, all with the goal of working collaboratively to ensure youth have every opportunity possible for mentorship and to succeed in our province.
To date, the partnership has been able to pilot processes in the Bay St. George area and in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, working collaboratively with community members in both regions. This fall, the initiative began expanding its pilot in two new areas in the province and continue to evaluate outcomes and find ways to best serve our youth. The goal is to have EJMs in place province-wide in order to support a holistic, community-based approach to reduce youth involvement in the criminal justice system.