Critical Crossroads: Youth, Criminal Justice and Literacy - Final report (2012)

This document summarizes the proceedings and recommendations of a national forum that brought together experts in education, social services, and the justice system to encourage action on the issue of literacy for youth in conflict with the law. Teachers, politicians, police, parole officers, students, community workers, and volunteers attended conferences held concurrently in cities around Canada on June 5, 2012. In addition, online participants were able to submit questions by email or through Twitter.

Participants identified a number of key issues, including the need for collaboration across sectors and organizations; the vital importance of early intervention and the involvement of parents; and the wisdom of providing funds for early intervention and preventative measures, rather than offering support only after young people have already entered the justice system.

They recommended establishing and sharing best practices with those who police, sentence, monitor, and support youth before, during and after incarceration, so that they are aware of the importance of literacy and have strategies they can use to help young people.

The forum was organized by Frontier College, a national literacy organization. In preparation for it, Frontier College published a discussion paper and a literature review, which can be viewed by clicking here and here:

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APA citation
Avril Colenutt and Margaret A. Toye. Critical Crossroads: Youth, Criminal Justice and Literacy - Final report 2012. Web. 6 Feb. 2023 <>
Avril Colenutt & Margaret A. Toye (2012). Critical Crossroads: Youth, Criminal Justice and Literacy - Final report. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from
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