YRAP is extremely flexible and takes referrals for a variety of reasons. The most common referrals are for:
- Sentence Advisory
Once a young person has been found to be guilty of an offense, YRAP gathers information and makes recommendations for constructive and appropriate consequences. YRAP typically offers to follow up with the recommendations. (vi a mentorship, support, connecting youth with other agencies etc…)
- Developing and Supervising the Completion of Extrajudicial Sanctions
The extrajudicial sanctions program is an alternative to the traditional court process for young people who qualify, usually for those charged with more minor offenses, who have no prior criminal record or a minor one, and who have admitted their role in their offenses.
- Making Detailed Plans for a Young Person’s Interim Release (Bail)
YRAP will gather information about the young person’s life and make recommendations on what conditions could be put on the release in order to give the young person the best chance of success.
Those who take part in the YRAP process will attend a “conference” where they will meet with a youth panel and possibly the victim of their offenses, and will discuss their personal circumstances as well as possible consequences. In all cases, YRAP offers one-to-one mentorship for the duration of the young person’s involvement in YRAP. Continued involvement allows for the young person to have a stable individual in their lives who is able to assist them in the court system as well as with any other issues that undermines their stability.
YRAP works closely with the young person in order to come up with recommendations. In most cases, YRAP also consults the important people in the young person’s life such as family members, social workers, key workers at group homes or correctional centres, as well as prosecution and defense lawyers involved with the criminal case and any victims of the crime. A panel of youth gathers the information, and based on this information generates appropriate conditions or consequences that are presented as recommendations to the court.
Although it is most known for its role in the court system as a sanctioned youth justice committee, the members of YRAP have long believed that the above goals are also served well both by increasing public understanding of important issues as well as by engaging youth so that they become invested in positive activities in the community. It is for this reason that YRAP has often been involved in hosting and in supporting art shows, educational workshops, musical events, artistic films and other public events. YRAP also has an annual fundraising charity gala that showcases the achievements of young people in the community.
Outside of our Youth Justice Committee, YRAP also offers other programming including:
All youth who participate in YRAP are matched with a youth mentor who spends time with them and supports them through their court involvement and consequences. This is an essential part of YRAP because it builds long-term relationships founded on trust while also offering a positive role model who is close in age.
Cell Phone Project
YRAP’s cell phone project was created due to difficulties maintaining contact with our most high risk youth, and concern for their safety. These youth are impoverished and/or transient, causing communication for the purposes of successfully completing YRAP’s program nearly impossible. Additionally, these youth can sometimes find themselves in dangerous situations with no way to call for help. YRAP gives these youth used cell phones which are set up with month-to-month plans for the purposes of communication and safety.
Over 10 weeks, youth are provided with 40 hours of administrative experience and the opportunity to shadow a youth worker. It is a paid program in which at-risk youth gain valuable work experience and practical skills for the future.
Youth Support and Advocacy Program
YSAP uses a circle approach within schools to work with youth facing barriers to school attendance and/or significant truancy issues. Volunteers will use the circle process to collaborate with the student and identify the root causes of their absenteeism. The result is a plan which will put the youth in a better position to attend school on a more regular basis.
DIY: Drop in for Youth
YRAP's DIY: Drop in for Youth was established in the summer of 2015 when a group of young people came together to plan a drop in the way they wished to see it run. They were looking to create a safe, fun space where youth from across Edmonton could come to get active, make new friends, and support one another. Check out more information on it here, or like us on Facebook at "DIY: Drop-In for Youth at YRAP".