Marvin: Immigrant Youth Crime Prevention Program (IYCPP)
In 2022, as pandemic restrictions lifted and city life resumed, we confronted a pressing issue. A staggering 80% of our Calgary Young Offender Centre (CYOC) clientele were immigrant youth, yet our outreach was overlooked by existing referral sources unaware of our services and re-engagement protocols. Our solution was a targeted marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness and sparking responses.
Did you know;
- In 2022, out of the 24 youth that had school concerns and/or were not attending school at the time of their assessment, 23 reported increasing both their attendance and their academic success.
- Of the 24 youth that identified needing skill development, 14 reported an increase in developing skills.
Our Advocate organized meetings with Youth Probation, the Multi Agency School Support Team (MASST), CBE school liaisons, and the Centre for Newcomers, in addition to attending numerous resource fairs. The strategy yielded significant results with a 210% surge in referrals for 2022.
Among those referred was Marvin*, a CYOC youth preparing for his release and community reintegration. Social pressures and limited community support influenced Marvin’s past criminal behavior. However, he expressed a desire to reconnect with his mosque and school, which had been sidelined during his troubled period.
Marvin was hesitant about returning to school due to previous negative experiences and a limited understanding of education’s benefits. Yet his time at CYOC reignited his interest in learning. Our Advocate helped Marvin address his concerns, specifically focusing on enhancing his communication skills with educators to foster a collaborative and supportive learning environment.
Upon his release, Marvin’s dedication to education was unwavering, despite the Calgary Youth Attendance Centre, his new school, being 20km away. He navigated daily commutes by transit, reflecting his determination. His efforts contributed to the 68% increase in school attendance and engagement witnessed by the Immigrant Youth Crime Prevention Program (IYCPP) that year.
Post-release, the Advocate assisted Marvin in reconnecting with his mosque. This reconnection reinforced Marvin’s desire for a lifestyle centered around prayer and Muslim faith. The mosque community provided him with valuable support, underscoring the importance of education and teaching financial literacy, sparking Marvin’s entrepreneurial ambitions.
This newfound inspiration translated into employment goals and financial literacy targets set with the Advocate. Together, they built a resume and a financial plan at the youth employment centre. This process opened Marvin’s eyes to long-term thinking and future planning.
Reflecting on his past criminal involvement, Marvin saw a brighter future. He voiced his determination to avoid returning to a life of crime, content with his newly found positive lifestyle. Marvin’s focus is now firmly set on completing his education and pursuing his entrepreneurial dreams.
*Names have been changed for client confidentiality