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OJEN report part of a study on the impact of serious legal problems in Canada

The Department of Justice Canada has released a series of fourteen reports of qualitative studies focusing on the experiences of specific populations in different parts of Canada who have experienced a serious legal problem.  These reports, carried out by community-based researchers across Canada, complement the Canadian Legal Problems Survey (CLPS), conducted by Statistics Canada in 2021.

One of these studies – Voices Matter: The Impact of Serious Legal Problems on 16- to 30-Year-Olds in the Black Community – was conducted by OJEN over the summer of 2020. It examines the impact of serious legal problems on 16 to 30 year olds in the Black community in Toronto and Ottawa. 

OJEN partnered with a research team from Calibrate Solutions to conduct the study.  Community partners from both cities invited youth and young adults to participate in focus group sessions conducted by video conference. Participants shared stories of their experiences encountering legal problems, the ways they dealt with them and the outcomes of their efforts. 

The results provide a window into the complex ways in which legal problems impact the lives of racialized urban youth. Three common areas of law emerged during the focus groups discussions: employment, housing and human rights.  Based on these findings, OJEN has developed public legal education workshops to help young people learn about these areas of law and where they can go to get legal help. They are available to both focus group participants and other members of the community through our partnering community organizations in both Ottawa and Toronto.

Read more about The Department of Justice Canada Legal Problems Survey.  Read OJEN’s report –  Voices Matter: The Impact of Serious Legal Problems on 16- to 30-Year-Olds in the Black Community.

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