Approximate 80 frontline youth workers attended a full day Support Through the Justice System training delivered by OJEN on January 28th. In partnership with the City of Toronto Youth Development Unit and Toronto Youth Equity Strategy and in collaboration with Nikki Knows, the workshop clarified for frontline workers what happens when a youth is charged with an offence and how to support their clients (youth and young adults) during every stage of the criminal justice system.
Frontline workers are often the trusted adults young people turn to when they experience difficulties. When youth come into contact with the criminal justice system, the consequences can be very serious. Having accurate information about how the justice system works and how to interact with it helps frontline workers support their clients appropriately.
Using scenario-based situations, facilitators walked through each step of the criminal justice process.
Participants learned what to expect at each stage of the process from the charge, forms of release, bail, obtaining a lawyer, the first appearance and court procedure, pleas, the trial process, justice programs, and sentencing. They learned about options available and circumstances that might influence outcomes along the way.
Participants received a Supporting Youth Through the Justice System Toolkit, a resource for Toronto-area youth workers, teachers, and other professionals supporting young people interacting with the criminal justice system. As well as covering much of the information covered in the session it contained links to additional resources and sources of legal help.
Frontline workers were enthusiastic about the information they received from the Support Through the Justice System Training workshop and the City of Toronto is planning a second based on its success.