OJEN’s Youth-Police Dialogue programs offer young people a safe, inclusive space to share their perspectives about their neighbourhood and the issues that cause conflict between youth and police. Over 6-8 weekly sessions, lawyers help youth learn about criminal law, build their legal capability, and develop their advocacy skills. Youth participants practice framing their ideas and concerns in a respectful, assertive way that enhances youth-police relations. The project ends with a roundtable discussion between youth and police officers, where both sides work to come up with respectful community solutions, while addressing community safety as a shared goal.
In 2014, OJEN received a two-year grant from the City of Toronto to pilot our Youth-Police Dialogues with 150 youth living in eight different neighbourhood improvement areas and high risk communities throughout Toronto. Read our project report to learn more.
In 2018, OJEN received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to expand our Youth-Police Dialogues across the province. The three-year Grow grant from OTF allowed OJEN to replicate and refine the YPD program by collaborating with 34 community partners and engaging 727 youth in 40 Youth-Police Dialogues and Navigating Police Encounters programs across Ontario. Read our project report to learn more.
With support from Ontario’s Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Law Foundation of Ontario, OJEN developed an adapted version of the Youth-Police Dialogue program for Indigenous youth in Sudbury. Read our project report to learn more.
If you would like to request this program, you can contact us via our online form.