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YOUTH & THE JUSTICE SYSTEM DISCONNECT

Earlier this week I spoke with a community member that had voiced her concerns to us back in 2019. She had taken the time to write a very detailed letter explaining the challenges she has faced in relation to dealing with the justice system. It was a story that we have heard and experienced ourselves many times.


It is unbelievably difficult to watch so many youth that you know are going down a bad path and feeling helpless in your ability to effect positive change and to help them. We all know that there are many risk factors that lead to this, however, we don’t expect that a parent would have to fight against the system to get them help.


This community member attended court and fought to get her child the help and discipline that they clearly needed, and their voice was totally ignored. What can we expect from a child that at the age of 12 years is allowed to decide what they want to do without any consultation or input from the parent?


Perhaps our justice system should start looking at the rates of recidivism when it comes to the youth that are committing the most violent crimes in our city.


Any expert on the subject of discipline and behaviour will tell you that with out discipline, children will be deficient in many of the most important life skills. They will be more likely to engage in negative behaviors that are harmful and even potentially dangerous for themselves as well as others. That they will lack self-control, empathy, and basic social skills.


When you set youth up for failure … they fail.


It should be unacceptable to all of us that any well meaning parent that is advocating for their child’s best interest is ignored.


I want to thank these community members for sharing their experiences and for continuing to advocate for all of the other community members that may face the same challenges.


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Thank you to The Rhema Foundation for working so hard with helping the community locally and globally with many programs such as the food bank in partnership with Second Harvest and North York Harvest