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Title: How Investing in At-Risk Youth Today Will Save Albertans Money in the Future
Authors: Sexsmith, Samantha
Issue Date: Sep-2015
Citation: Sexsmith, Samantha. (2015). How Investing in At-Risk Youth Today Will Save Albertans Money in the Future ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
Abstract: The choice to use custodial sentencing as the dominant punishment solution, or to invest in the development and implementation of juvenile diversion programs aimed at addressing the root causes of crime, has remained a point of contention between decision makers in Canada.1 Seemingly contradictory behaviour between the Canadian Federal Government and the Calgary Police Service lead me to conduct an inquiry into the effectiveness of existing methods of intervention for youth crime in society. An extensive literature review and cost analysis revealed that recent legislation promoting the use of incarceration is not likely to generate desirable social or financial benefits for Canada. Rather, methods of early intervention and multi-systemic therapy should be pursued as a means to reduce crime in society, and incarceration should be utilized only as a last resort. Although there is a convincing body of discernable evidence in favour of preventative and circumstantial reactive methods in the community, the investment in such programs can be a hard political sell. Using a cost analysis and a rough calculation of Alberta’s Willingness To Pay (WTP) to reduce crime, I am able to conclude that the implementation of juvenile diversion programming should not be viewed as politically risky, but instead should be viewed as being politically advantageous.
Appears in Collections:Master of Public Policy Capstone Projects

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