The federal Liberals are hoping to put a major dent in youth crime in Prince Albert by targeting almost $2 million toward at-risk young people in the area.
The money will go toward life-skills training for at-risk youth and their families and will be run by Prince Albert Catholic Family Services.
Liberal Minister Scott Brison says Indigenous youth are one of the fastest growing demographics, but if they end up in the criminal justice system, it is a lost resource for the country.
“If they fall through the cracks, it’s no longer an opportunity in terms of the young population but it’s a real economic and social time bomb,” he says.
Catholic Family Services Executive Director Louise Zurowski says a high percentage of the organization’s clientele is Indigenous.
“In our Bridges program, the program for people who have been incarcerated for two years less a day employment program, it’s 99.9 per cent Indigenous,” she says.
The funding will be distributed over five years and aims to reach about 150 at-risk youth.
Brison was making the announcement on Tuesday morning on behalf of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale.
The funding is part of the Liberals’ $44.5 million National Crime Prevention Strategy.
The life-skills classes will fall under the Catholic Family Services’ Strengthening Families Program.
(PHOTO: Liberal Minister Scott Brison. Photo by Fraser Needham.)