In May 2014, the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development
at the John Howard Society of Ontario released a report about the barriers facing youth with police records or YPRs in the labour market.
The report states, “Individuals are frequently barred from pro-social engagement due to their past criminal justice involvement, and yet face societal (if not legal) condemnation when they do not appear to be making every effort at rehabilitation. This catch-22 – expecting reintegrating individuals to fully re-engage with society when it simultaneously bars them from doing so – sets people up for failure.”
A survey was developed and administered to employers/local businesses in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. The findings and recommendations to improve social and labour market inclusion of YPRs are quite interesting.
One thing we can do as a service network is support the health and wellbeing of our youth and “connect them to the training, skills development and mentorship that they need to improve their individual employability and capacities to fill existing skills gaps in Ontario.” This is the focus of two projects, one in Prince Edward and the other in Hastings, where community organizations are working together to improve graduation rates among youth in HPE. Please let me know if you wish to learn more about these projects, and I will connect you with the appropriate leads.
For a copy of the youth employability report, please visit the John Howard Society of Ontario.