I had a look at the report, and it looks like Winnipeg is modelling this program from one in Halifax. The information on the City of Winnipeg website has a link to a 13 page document, which provides some insight into the Program.
There are three recommendations in the report as follows:
1. That the City of Winnipeg Community Services Department provide free recreational opportunities to children and families involved with the Province of Manitoba's Turnabout Program in Winnipeg which provides services to youth under the age of 12 years who have been in conflict with the law or are at risk.Well, from the standpoint of a citizen living in the North End, this sounds great.
2. That the City of Winnipeg in partnership with the Province of Manitoba Department of Justice conduct further analysis with respect to identifying any gaps in crime prevention services and supports for youth aged 12-14 years who have been in conflict with the law or are at risk.
3. That the Public Service report back to Council in one year on how the investment in recreation services has helped to improve outcomes for children served by Province of Manitoba's Turnabout Program.
On the news today, Police Chief McCaskill made mention of youth as young as 10 years old being caught for stealing cars. He said they cannot be charged criminally because they are so young.
When you hear of crimes taking place from children so young, that is the sound of a City crying for help. The crime is not committed in isolation. The crime is committed as the result of a damaged environment.
We have to all work together to correct the damage. Whether it is picking up garbage to make our world cleaner, or helping young children to find more positive ways to spend their time, its all a step in the right direction.
And I am for taking that step.