© Guardian file photo
Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry
Prince Edward Island has seen a drop in the number of people who reoffend since introducing a training program for probation officers and youth workers.
The Island is the first province in Canada to use the made-in-Canada program that trains probation officers and youth workers to help those who come into conflict with the law to get back to living normal lives. Since it was introduced two years ago, the number of people who have reoffended has dropped by 14 per cent.
The Strategic Training Initiative in Community Supervision, or STICS program, was developed at the University of Ottawa in collaboration with Justice Canada, and has been endorsed by Canada’s Heads of Corrections.
The program provides training to probation officers and youth workers to guide clients through problem solving, goal setting and addressing risk factors.
“There has been a significant change in the way probation officers deal with clients, with a shift from a case management approach to a change agent approach," said Darlene Dawson, manager of probation services with the provincial Justice department, in a news release. “Our training has enabled us to take a more systematic approach to supervision and to more actively engage with clients.”
Dawson says the training has helped her staff better deal with the underlying issues of clients.
"Our probation officers, youth workers and others who are in contact with those in conflict with the law play a vital role in helping them to rehabilitate and resume normal lives,” said Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry.
“As a department, we are increasingly focussed on crime prevention initiatives and rehabilitation of offenders,” said Sherry. “The safety and security of our communities is of utmost importance, and our probation services play a key role in helping to meet that goal.”