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A Multi-Faceted Examination of Relationships between Academic difficulties & Involvement in the Juvenile Justice System EPSE 526: Learning Disabilities Seminar. Paul An Colleen Camplin Alicia Kronberg Sally Pan Hua Qin Julia Rideout Emily Tan Maryann Vukasovic.

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paul an colleen camplin alicia kronberg sally pan hua qin julia rideout emily tan maryann vukasovic

A Multi-Faceted Examination of Relationships between Academic difficulties & Involvement in the Juvenile Justice SystemEPSE 526: Learning Disabilities Seminar

Paul An

Colleen Camplin

Alicia Kronberg

Sally Pan Hua Qin

Julia Rideout

Emily Tan

Maryann Vukasovic

how did we define our task
How did we Define Our Task?
  • Who is our project about?
      • Youth who have interacted with the juvenile justice system and have a history of academic difficulties
      • Youth who are at risk for experiencing academic, social, emotional, and behavioural problems

* Youth with learning disabilities (LD)

  • What do we want to know?
      • Who are these kids? What are they like? What have they experienced?
      • What risk and protective factors link learning difficulties and the likelihood of juvenile justice involvement?
      • Can we identify elements of programs—prevention and intervention—that have worked for these youth?
review of the literature

Review of the Literature

Colleen Camplin & Emily Tan

focus questions
Focus Questions
  • Who are the individuals and youths in the criminal justice system?
  • What is the connection between LD and delinquency?
  • What are the main risk and protective factors?
    • What is the cost?
  • What has worked to intervene with this group of individuals?
profile of prison population as of december 31 st 2004

Profile of Prison Population(as of December 31st, 2004)

(Correctional Service Canada website)

common themes of young offenders
Common Themes of Young Offenders
  • Male, between 14 and 15 birthdays
  • Single parent familial situation
  • Underclass or working class backgrounds
  • Committed crimes in company of friends
  • Little formal leisure time commitments
  • Not succeeding within regular schooling experience (failing, dropping out, lowest academic categories)

(Ontario, Young Offenders Study, 1990-1998

what is the link between ld and delinquency
What is the link between LD and delinquency?
  • 30% - 70% of young offenders have learning problems
  • National Council on Disability - USA (2003) estimated that approximately 30% of children in the juvenile system have LD
  • School failure resulting from a student having LD leads to criticism, rejection, poor self-image, school dropout, and delinquency
  • Children with LD tend to have personality characteristics such as poor interpretation of social cues, and impulsivity that make them susceptible to delinquent behaviour.
  • Adolescents with LD typically experience academic and psychosocial difficulties

(Learning Disabilities Association for America website; Raskind, 2008)

“LD and comorbid LD/ADHD are risk factors, increasing the likelihood of negative outcomes”(McNamara et al., 2005, Ontario)
  • Adolescents with LD and comorbid LD/ADHD reported having:
    • Poorer mood
    • More depressed
    • Lower self esteem
    • Lower sense of life satisfaction
    • Weaker maternal and paternal relationships
    • Targets of victimization
“There is a strong link between ADHD/LD and anti-social behaviour” (Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999) (USA)
  • Comorbid ADHD/LD increases the risk of adjudication by 220%
  • 50-70% of children with ADHD/LD develop anti-social behaviour and 20-40% show signs of Conduct Disorder
  • 30-50% of adjudicated youth and adults have been found to have an LD as compared to 5-10% prevalence in the general population
  • 3-7% of the population has ADHD, but up to 70% of juvenile offenders have ADHD and up to 40% of adult offenders
Children with ADHD/LD are more likely to be arrested and convicted than their non-disabled peers for the same delinquent behaviour.Why?
  • The lack of cognitive and language skills to avoid detection and conceal intent
  • Poor social skills and emotional regulation
  • Captain Susan Rahr, commander of the Gang Suppression Unit in Seattle, Washington agrees, she sees a child’s social skills determining whether police take a child who has offended home or to the police station for booking and thus beginning a juvenile record. -”The child who can “fake a socially desirable response” is more likely to be taken home; the child who responds inappropriately is more likely to go to jail for the same offense” (Rahr, personal communication, Nov. 9, 1995)
  • This is a similar thing that happens in school to children with ADHD/LD-higher rates of punishment , suspension, and expulsion

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory 1999) (USA)

risk factors
Risk Factors
  • Individual
  • Family
  • Peer
  • School
  • Community and Neighbourhood
individual risk factors
Individual Risk Factors
  • Impulsivity and inability to self-regulate emotions
  • High behavioural activation and low behavioural inhibition
  • Exposure to violence and abuse
  • Low cognitive development
  • Early aggressive anti-social behaviour
    • characterized by high frequency, intense severity, and in multiple settings

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999; Human Resources Canada ., 2000; Hawkins 1995)

family risk factors
Family Risk Factors
  • Low SES
  • Parental history of deviant behaviour
  • Favourable family attitudes towards deviant behaviour
  • Harsh discipline, inconsistent discipline, and child abuse
  • Poor parent monitoring/supervision
  • Poor bonding and attachment to family
  • Family conflict

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999; Human Resources Canada, 2000; Hawkins 1995; Sprague and Walker; 2000)

peer risk factors
Peer Risk Factors
  • Association with deviant peers
  • Peer rejection
  • Social exclusion

(Wesserman et al., 2003; Arthur et al., 2002)

school risk factors
School Risk Factors
  • Poor attachment to school and teachers
  • School failure
  • Poor academic achievement
  • Large student population with little resources in urban schools

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999; Human Resources Canada ., 2000; Hawkins 1995)

community neighborhood risk factors
Community/Neighborhood Risk Factors
  • Poor community attachment
  • Low voter turn-out
  • High rates of vandalism
  • High rates of violence and crime
  • Availability of drugs and guns
  • Community laws and norms favourable to crime
  • High community turn-over
  • Low SES

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999; Human Resources Canada, 2000; Hawkins 1995)

interventions targeting protective factors what has worked to help
Interventions Targeting Protective Factors:What Has Worked to Help?
  • School-to-work programs
  • Connection/ Mentor/ Positive Relationship
  • Life Skills and/or Social Skills Training
  • Focusing on the context versus the individual
  • School attachment
school to work
  • Paid job training
  • Instruction in:

- functional academics

- vocational skills

- community living skills

- personal social skills

- self-determination skills

- transition planning

  • Follow-up services if needed
  • Collaboration between schools and adult agencies

- community conveys pro-social values to children

by partnering with the school

(Benz, 2000; Appalachia Educational Laboratory 1999)

building a connection
Building a Connection
  • Bonding with pro-social adult (does not have to be a family member)
  • Mentored youth (Big Brothers/Big Sisters - 8 cities in US)

- 46% less likely than controls to initiate drug use

- 27% less likely than controls to initiate alcohol

- almost one-third less likely than controls to hit someone

- skipped almost half the number of days than controlled group

- felt more competent about doing school work

- modest gains in grade point averages

- better relationships with parents than controls

(Grossman and Garry, 1997)

life and social skills
Life and Social Skills
  • teaching problem solving
  • teaching personal control
  • sense of purpose
  • building self-esteem
  • teaching socially acceptable behaviour, which increases attachment to society

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory, 1999; Hawkins 1995)

context vs individual
Context vs. Individual
  • Intervention that targets risk factors in several domains (individual child, the child’s family, the child’s peer group, the child’s neighbourhood, and the media) are most successful
  • Multisystemic Treatment

- addresses multiple causes of antisocial behaviour

- addresses intrapersonal (cognitive) and systemic (family, peer, school) factors known to be associated with antisocial behaviour

- individualized and highly flexible

- home-based services aimed to empower families

- a Washington State study showed that between taxpayer and crime victim benefits combined it produced a net gain of $21, 863 per participant (The Evergreen State College)

(Wesserman et al., 2003; Bourdain et al., 1995;

  • High expectation for all students
  • Support for all students
  • Intensive support available for all students
  • Connection to teachers
  • Availability and variety of after school programs
  • Value different learning styles

(Appalachia Educational Laboratory 1999; Human Resources Canada, 2000; National Crime Prevention Canada, 1996)

cost can we afford not to
Cost… Can We Afford Not To??
  • According to the 1994 Canadian Tax Foundation, Crime is consuming more of our financial resources than the government of Canada commits to old age pensions ($15.8 billion), The Child Tax Credit ($5 billion), Canada Assistance Plan ($7.4 billion), child care ($5.5 billion) combined and twice as much as the Unemployment Insurance Program ($18.1 billion)
  • Canada spends more on incarcerating one person for one year than it would cost to support a person through four years of a university education
  • It costs up to 20,000 per year for each youth under community supervision and $215,000 per year for incarceration
  • U.S. long term evaluation shows that for every $1 you invest in quality preschool and child care, $7 is saved in future welfare, policing, social services and prisons

(National Crime Prevention Canada 1996, Youth Justice Report 2009)

  • Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2000, January). Early Offending::Understanding the Risk and Protective Factors of Public Safety Canada. National Crime Prevention Centre. (2008). Programs for Preventing and Reducing Juvenile Crime in a Family Environment. Public Safety Canada.
  • Delinquency. Retrieved March 7, 2009, from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada:
  • National Crime Prevention Council Canada. (1996, March). Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved march 7, 2009, from Safety and Savings: Crime Prevention Through Social Development:
  • National Crime Prevention Council Canada: Economic Analysis Committee. (1996, march). Safety and Savings: Crime Prevention Through Social Development. Retrieved march 7, 2009, from Public Health Agency of Canada:
  • Public Safety Canada. (2008, September). Programs for Preventing and Reducing Juvenile Crime in a Family Environment. Retrieved March 7, 2009, from Public Safety Canada. National Crime Prevention Centre:
  • Washington State Institute for Public Policy. (1998). Watching the Bottom Line: Cost-Effective Interventions for Reducing Crime in Washington. Olympia, WA: Evergreen State College.
  • Appalachia Educational Laboratory. (1999). Preventing Antisocial Behaviour in Disabled and At-Risk. Retrieved February 24, 2009, from LD Online:
  • Arthur, M. W., Hawkins, J. D., Pollard, J. A., Catalano, R. F., & Baglioni, A. (2002). Measuring Risk and Protective Factors For Substance, Delinquency, and Other Adolescent Problem Behaviours. Evaluation Review, 36(6) , 575-601.
  • Benz, M. R., Lindstrom, L., & Yovanoff, P. (2000). Improving Graduation and Employment Outcomes of Students with Disabilities: Predictive Factors and Student Perspectives. Exceptional Children, 66(4) , 509-529.
  • Borduin, C. M., Mann, B. J., Cone, L. T., Henggler, S. W., Fucci, B. R., Blaske, D. M., et al. (1995). Multisystemic Treatment of Serious Juvenile Offenders: Long-Term Prevention of Criminality and Violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63(4) , 569-578.
  • Frengut, R. (2003). Social Acceptance of Students with Learning Disabilities. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from Learning Disabilities Association of America:

Grossman, J. B., & Garry, E. M. (1997, April). Mentoring-A Proven Delinquency Prevention Strategy. Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention: Juvenile Justice Bulletin , pp. 1-7.

Hawkins, D. J. (1995). Controlling Crime Before It Happens: Risk-Focused Prevention. National Institute of Justice Journal , 10-18.

Hawkins, D. J. (1995). Controlling Crime Before It Happens: Risk-Focused Prevention. National Institute of Justice Journal , 10-18.

Hawkins, D. J., Herrenkohl, T. I., Farrington, D. P., Brewer, D., Catalano, R. F., Harachi, T. W., et al. (2000, April). Predictors of Youth Violence. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Juvenile Justice Bulletin , pp. 1-11.

McNamara, J. K., Willoughby, T., Chalmers, H., & YLC-CURA. (2005). Psychosocial Status of Adolescents with Learning Disabilities With and Without Comorbid Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice , 234-244.

Motiuk, L., Cousineau, C., & Gileno, J. (2005, April). The Safe Return of Offenders to the Community Statistical Overview April 2005. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from Correctional Services Canada: Http://

MST Services. (2007). Multisystemic Therapy-MST. Retrieved March 29, 2008, from MST Services:

Patterson, G. R., Debaryshe, B., & Ramsey, E. (1990). A Developmental Perspective on Antisocial Behaviour. American Psychologist , 329-335.

Raskind, M. (2005, August). Research Trends: Is There a Link Between LD and Juvenile Delinquency? Retrieved March 15, 2009, from Great Schools:

Richardson, W. (2005). Voices From the Margins. Retrieved March 15, 2009, from

Sprague, J., & Walker, H. (2000). Early Identification and Intervention for Youth with Antisocial and Violent Behaviour. Exceptional Children , 367-379.

Wasserman, G. A., Keenan, K., Tremblay, R. E., Coie, J. D., Herrenkohl, T. I., Loeber, R., et al. (2003, April). Risk and Protective Factors of Child Delinquency. Child Delinquency:Bulletin Series , pp. 1-15.

conversations with stakeholders

Conversations with Stakeholders

Paul An, Julia Rideout, & Maryann Vukasovic

stakeholder interviews
Stakeholder Interviews
  • The focus of our group was to obtain the perspective of the individuals that are involved with struggling youth in the educational system. This included the youth themselves. We were interested in learning what the stakeholders considered to be influential factors in their experiences.
  • We then identified any emerging themes from the data and considered if there were any connections between what the stakeholders were saying and what the literature review of the research had shown.
who are the stakeholders
Who are the stakeholders?
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Parents
guiding questions
Guiding Questions
  • What is helpful?
  • What was not helpful?
  • What would be helpful?
stakeholder teachers
Stakeholder: Teachers
  • Interviewed teachers from three different programs.

Program A: District program in Vancouver School District

    • 20 students, aged 16-19, with Ministry designation.
    • Ministry of Children and Family Development, social workers and/or probation officers involved.
    • Students have severe academic difficulties and are involved with the law (e.g. auto theft, weapons possession, bank robbery, assault, drug trafficking, etc.).
    • Mainstream high schools and alternate schools were unsuccessful for the students in this program.
stakeholder teachers1
Stakeholder: Teachers

Program B: Youth Detention Centre

  • One of three facilities servicing BC.
  • All have committed some crime (e.g. assault, theft, drug abuse, drug trafficking, murder) and are in the custody of the judicial system.
  • Youth are in Grades 8-12; categorized in pods of 6 students; most have significant learning difficulties.
  • Required academic program covers core high school subjects as well as electives, such as art, textiles, home economics, business.
stakeholder teachers2
Stakeholder: Teachers

Program C: District program in Coquitlam School District

  • Students are in Grades K-5 and are diagnosed with a severe language-based learning disability. They may also have behavioural, social, and/or coping issues.
  • Mainly focused on developing their language skills – reading, writing, speaking.
  • Maximum class size is 12 students.
success factors teachers
Success Factors – Teachers
  • What do you feel are the successful components of your program?
    • Addresses students’ individual learning needs
      • Focus on life skills, such as interviewing skills, employment (Yard Works), money management, cooking skills, communication skills, goal setting, fitness component
      • Academic expectations
        • Students are expected to attend classes.
    • Effective support system
      • Having a strong and caring relationship with the students and providing consistent support.
    • Acceptance/tolerance/understanding.
    • Low student-teacher ratio.
    • Teacher communication and planning about individualizing instruction to meet students’ learning needs.
risk factors teachers
Risk Factors - Teachers
  • What are the challenges for you and your students?
    • Individual
      • Students may have LD, ADHD, and/or behaviour issues; anxiety issues; may lack social and communication skills.
    • Family
      • Many students are from single parent or foster parent homes.
      • Lack of parental involvement.
      • Parents may have a history of addiction, coping issues.
      • Low-socio economic status.
    • Peers
      • Students interact with peers of a similar profile.
risk factors teachers1
Risk Factors - Teachers
  • Schools
    • Frequent school changes and absenteeism may affect school performance.
    • Mainstream teachers lack the training, resources, and patience to deal with these students.
    • Mainstream school programs were unsuccessful.
    • Lack of relationships between teachers and students.
  • Communities
    • Inconsistent service in terms of the quality of service provided by social workers and foster parents.
    • Treatment facilities are not available immediately.
    • Lack of available and effective transition programs.
protective factors teachers
Protective Factors - Teachers
  • What would be more helpful in supporting the students in your program?
    • Schools - “My honest opinion ... is that we need to put a lot of emphasis on school...”
      • More training for mainstream teachers.
      • More resources available to teachers.
      • Teachers as an effective support system/role model.
      • More parental involvement and better communication.
      • Availability of alternate programs.
    • Community
      • More consistency in service delivery by social workers, probation officers, and foster parents.
      • Availability of treatment facilities and transition programs.
stakeholder students
Stakeholder: Students
  • Interviewed two students from Program A.
  • Students
    • Both 17 year old males.
    • History with youth justice.
    • History of academic struggles.
    • Expulsion from alternate programs.
    • In the foster care system.
success factors students
Success Factors - Students
  • What are the successful components of your school experience?
    • Effective support system/acceptance and understanding.
      • Relationships with the teachers.
      • Teachers understanding the situations that students come from. They “treat you like you should be treated.”
    • Courses and programs that meet the needs and interests of the students.
      • Non-academic courses (e.g. P.E., business, home economics, fitness program, etc.)
      • Flexible scheduling
risk factors students
Risk Factors - Students
  • What in your school experience was challenging?
    • Individual
      • Challenges with academics and behaviour/aggressiveness.
    • Family
      • Poor monitoring/supervision by parents and caregivers.
      • Parental substance abuse.
      • Family conflict.
    • Peers
      • Peers were “troublemakers” (e.g. skipping school, doing drugs, transporting firearms).
    • School
      • School was “boring” – too much emphasis on academic courses.
      • Little teacher support.
        • There were “sporadic” teachers that helped.
protective factors students
Protective Factors - Students
  • What do you think would have helped?
    • Family
      • More parental supervision and involvement.
    • School
      • Better relationships with teachers.
      • More teacher support and understanding.
      • More support for and awareness of mental health issues.
        • “You feel anger and depressed and you don’t know what to do about it.”
      • Schools need to keep students better informed.
        • “constructive friendship building” – teaching social skills among students.
        • Knowing consequences of poor decision-making.
        • Knowledge about “real life.”
    • Community
      • Access to community centres (e.g. sports activities, gym passes)
        • Involve students; “finding things to get them out of trouble.”
stakeholder parents
Stakeholder: Parents
  • Single ESL parent; inconsistent joint custody.
  • Low socio-economic status.
  • Child is currently in Grade 4 and has a diagnosed language-based learning disability.
  • Academically, the student is having a “tough time.”
  • Child repeated Kindergarten and is emotionally impacted by this decision.
  • Child reports to parent that he has been bullied; some social and behavioural issues.
success factors parents
Success Factors - Parents
  • What are the successful components of your child’s school experience?
    • Learning resource centre where student receives extra support.
    • Having assistance outside of class, e.g. tutoring.
    • Both parent and child have good communication and relationship with the classroom teacher and other school personnel.
      • Resource teacher help in accessing community services.
    • Consistency of homework expectations.
risk factors parents
Risk Factors - Parents
  • What was not helpful in your child’s school experience?
    • School
      • Did not like the fact that her child repeated a grade. Felt there was a lack of communication between the school and the parent when the decision was made for the child to repeat Kindergarten.
    • Individual
      • Poor social skills
      • History of running away, defiance, stealing, lying, and anger issues.
    • Family
      • Little support from father
      • ESL
      • Low socio-economic status
protective factors parents
Protective Factors - Parents
  • What do you think would be helpful?
    • School
      • Earlier identification of learning disability.
        • Would reduce child’s frustrations and mother’s perceptions of child’s abilities.
        • Would have helped with better program planning for the child.
      • Would like more support after school for her child, (e.g. tutoring, homework club).
      • Use of technology (e.g. digital recorder, keyboarding skills, laptop).
common themes from all stakeholder groups
Common Themes From All Stakeholder Groups
  • Relationships
  • Family support
  • Early identification
  • Influence of peers
  • Educational system
    • More resources - personnel, training, programs, support.
    • Instruction tailored to students’ learning needs.

Existing Programmes for individuals in the Juvenile Justice system who may have a Learning Disability

Alicia Kronberg, Sally Pan, & Hua Qin

failure cycle
Failure Cycle

fall behind academically >> difficult work >> challenging behaviors >> removal from class >>

  • Cognitive deficits lead to poor academic performance
  • Poor academic performance is a strong risk factor for delinquency
we seek to understand the following questions
We seek to understand the following questions
  • What are the themes across JJ system for individuals with LD in different countries?
  • What is being done (specific strategies) before it becomes a problem for LD students in Canada?
  • What are the expectations or goals of success of these programs
  • Are these programs meeting the identified success, risk and protective factors identified in the research?
  • What recommendations would we make for different stakeholders to improve future programs that target this demographic?
what are the themes across jj system for individuals with ld in different countries
What are the themes across JJ system for individuals with LD in different countries?
  • To answer this question we looked at government and privately operated programs in different countries including:
  • Britain
  • Canada
  • China
  • USA
  • Because there were no specific institutions that appeared to link Learning Disabilities to the Juvenile Justice System, we looked into the resources/ programs from both the domains:
    • Crime Reduction website
      • Provides information and resources to help communities reduce crime.
    • Foundation For People With Learning Disabilities
      • We work with people with learning disabilities, their families and the people who support them. 
      • Do research and projects that help people be included
      • Support local people and services to include people with LD
      • Improve services and disseminate information
  • Because there were no specific institutions that appeared to link Learning Disabilities to the Juvenille Justice System, we looked into the resources/ programs from both the domains:
    • Learning Disabilities Association of Canada(Vancouver chapter).
    • Crime Prevention Center of Canada.
  • China, reform schools
    • Borrowed from Soviet educator Makarenko’s “Gorky Colony”, self-supporting orphanage for the street children, including the juvenile delinquents.
    • In July 1955, the first reform school in Beijing, China
    • For the teenagers from 13-17, with delinquents, behavioral problems and learning problems
    • Applied by the parents or the public schools the student enrolled in, and approved by the local education authority.
    • Graduating when evaluated as correction from the recorded emotional and behavioral problems and successful academic achievement with adapted instruction
  • Education Disability and Juvenile Justice
    • There were a few institutions here that explored the link between LD and the Juvenile Justice system. We focussed on EDJJ because they appeared to have a well developed program based on their research.
    • project involving University of Maryland, Arizona State University, the American Institutes for Research in Washington, DC, and the PACER parent advocacy center in Minneapolis.
    • “focuses on assisting practitioners, policymakers, researchers and advocates to identify and implement effective school-based delinquency prevention programs, education and special education services in juvenile correctional facilities, and transition supports for youth re-entering their schools and communities from secure care settings.” (EDJJ, ND, Background,¶ 2)
themes across countries
Themes across countries

In the programs that generally exist for LD individuals at risk we found that they focussed on these major themes:

  • Individual
    • They looked at this through the lens of educational and behavioural risk and protective factors
  • Family
    • They looked at family through support for individual, educationally and behaviourally as well as support for family, risk and protective factors
  • School
    • They looked at the needs of the LD students at school and recommend specific tools and strategies for intervention in terms of educational and behavioural
  • Community
    • They looked at how the community programs should be created to support the LD individual before during and after JJ
  • Peer relationships
    • They focus on building the individual’s ability to form peer based relationships by explicit social skills training, creating trauma sensitive school culture and Life skills training
crime prevention programs in canada
Crime prevention programs in Canada
  • Programs for Preventing and Reducing Juvenile Justice system in a Family environment
    • Parental training programs
    • Family therapy programs
    • Integrated approach programs
  • Programs for youth at-risk ages 12-17

(Public Safety Canada)

    • Community Youth Development Study (CYDS)
    • Functional Family Therapy (FFT)
    • Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP)
    • Life Skills Training (LST)
    • Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND)
    • Quantum Opportunities Program (QOP)
    • Strengthening Families Program (SFP) for Parents and Youth 10-14
    • Wraparound Milwaukee
    • Youth Inclusion Program (YIP)
learning disabilities programs in vancouver ldav
Learning disabilities programs in Vancouver (LDAV)


One-to-one tutoring

Orton Gillingham tutoring

High school readiness

Math tutoring

Creative Art


Resource library



Parent Advocacy Training

Parent support sessions

Peer relationships

Get Together

Teen activity group

Social drama

Are these programs meeting the identified success, risk and protective factors identified in the research?
  • The both sets of programs focus on different factors
  • The JJ based programs focus mostly on behavioural issues of at risk individual
  • LD programs from LDAV do not link the school with their initiatives
  • Not all the programs are "free" services so low socio-economic status LD or JJ individuals access is limited
  • LDAV programs are very local (each chapter runs different programs) and seasonal with limited capacity which limits access.

Foundation For People With Learning Disabilities . (ND). Web site:

Home Office. (2006). Crime Reduction. Web site:

Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. (ND). Retrieved March (2009). Web site:

Maguin & Loeber. (1996). Academic problems foster behavior problems

National Centre on Education, Disability and Juvenile Justice. (2007). Retrieved March (2009).

Public Safety Canada. (2009). Crime Prevention Centre of Canada. Retrieved March (2009). Web site:

Walker & Sprague. (1999). Delinquency related to chronic conduct problem

rating meaning
Rating Meaning


  • program that meets the highest scientific standard for effectiveness as evidenced in published evaluations; has a significant, sustained preventive or deterrent effect or reduction of problem behaviour, the reduction of risk factors related to problem behaviour; or the enhancement of protective factors related to problem behaviour and has been replicated in different communities or settings.


  • programs that meet scientific standards for effectiveness; but they do not meet all of the rigorous standards of Model programs. They are recognized and encouraged with the caution that they be carefully evaluated. In general, when implemented with minimal fidelity these programs demonstrate promising empirical findings using a reasonable conceptual framework and a limited evaluation design.



recommendations for researchers
Recommendations for Researchers
  • Study the link between learning difficulties and involvement in the juvenile justice system.
    • Very few studies make this an explicit focus of their investigations.
    • Much of the evidence is correlational or anecdotal.
  • Investigate what works with these youth, both in terms of prevention and intervention.
  • Chart the developmental trajectory from early difficulties to delinquency.
recommendations for educators
Recommendations for Educators
  • Intervene early
  • Increase school attachment
    • Decrease suspensions and expulsions
    • Cultivate caring relationships
  • Think outside the box for programming
    • Increase flexibility
    • Maintain a continuum of services
  • Increase professional development at preservice and inservice levels
  • Share best practices
  • Increase communication between community and advocacy programs and schools
recommendations for policy makers
Recommendations for Policy Makers
  • Increase funding for prevention and intervention programs
  • Maintain a continuum of services
  • Increase access to programs and resources
  • Provide education and training for professionals who interact with youth who are at risk for academic, social, emotional, and behavioural problems
the end


Questions and Discussion