The author presents the main results of a study undertaken by the Youth Protection Commission. The study concerns 167 youths from 12 to 17 years of age, placed in a Quebec rehabilitation centre, in 1987-88 — under the Youth Protection Act — because of their “serious behaviour problems”. The study describes these problems and the social and judicial treatment provided to deal with them. It notes the beneficial effects of the boys' stay at the rehabilitation centre, a stay that is nonetheless difficult, according to the youngsters. Finally, the author tells of their ideas and questions, and with the results obtained, she puts forward some suggestions for improving the services to assist these young people.
This article is about interpersonal physical violence. The description of the course of violent crimes in Quebec, based on official statistics and surveys, shows an increase in these crimes and in gang fighting, but the level is equivalent to that we had already known. There are a number of factors responsible for this situation — recent immigration, the reappearance of adolescent gangs and certain social changes. An analysis of interpersonal violence by means of a longitudinal study of individuals shows that it is an activity of the youth, not often repeated and of short duration, which is preceded by other criminal activities. It has been established that there is a strong continuity between agressive acts in early childhood, fighting during adolescence and violent crimes during adulthood. It has also been shown that the appearance of this type of conduct can be predicted under certain conditions. The results call for several preventive measures: the integration of young immigrants, the development of mechanisms for adolescent conviviality, support during the transition from school to the workplace and energetic control of adolescent gangs. Concerning action with regard to individuals, we discuss early discovery of persons at risk and specific types of intervention.
When a youngster under eighteen is implicated in a homicide, the media vigorously denounce his violence and deny him integration in society. Roger Rondeau, a psychologist, has had occasion to meet youngsters who have committed this type of crime. He presents a dynamic analysis here of the personality of two of them in an effort to understand the meaning of their behaviour and the source of their aggression. His study shows, on the basis of the psychological aspect of the characters and events, that neither one of the two boys was a monster outside the social pale. The essential question is no doubt not to try to classify them as sick or guilty, as neurotics or delinquents; we should ask rather if they are not eloquent evidence of the failure of society.
Our work with young offenders at the Quebec Social Service Centre has led us to intervene more and more frequently among adolescents for sex-related offences. We felt the need, therefore, to know more about the matter in order to be able to answer the needs of this clientèle more realistically. Thus we conceived of group therapy centred on the psychosexual development of these adolescents, along with complementary individual treatment.
A first experiment was undertaken in the spring of 1989. The results encourage us to pursue this type of treatment, always adjusting it to the needs underlying the behaviour of these adolescents.
It must be pointed out that the data and the thinking contained in this article are drawn from our practice. It is as social workers that we deal with this problem.
Little is known in Québec about detention before sentencing also known as provisionnel detention. This is a study of the population admitted to provisionnel detention between 1981 and 1985. The author presents the conceptual framework in which this study was undertaken and, with the help of statistical data, she draws a portrait of the population concerned. The author points out there is a disparity between the theory and practice of provisionnel detention. Furthermore, it is used disproportionately for marginal groups of detained persons.