MONCTON, N.B. — New Brunswick's Child and Youth Advocate says greater investment in community-based approaches to youth crime reduction will reduce the number of young people behind bars and save money in the long run.
Norm Bosse makes 10 recommendations in a report released today entitled More Care Less Court.
He says there needs to be more training for people who deal with troubled youth, and government should not be using criminal prosecutions as a means to access mental health services for young people.
Bosse says there are currently 25 to 30 New Brunswick youths in custody at any given time, but with greater use of counselling and diversion programs, that could be reduced to five to 10.
Incarcerated youths are currently held in a facility in Miramichi that is shared with adult female inmates, but Bosse says that needs to change because youths are not supposed to be held in the same facility as adults.
He says government has been receptive to the recommendations and he's hoping changes can be made over the next couple of years.
Bosse pronounced BAW-see, The Canadian Press