Statistics Canada - Statistique Canada

Youth custody and community services in Canada


The Youth Custody and Community Services (YCCS) Survey is a micro-data survey, conducted annually since 1992. The YCCS survey collects data from jurisdictional operational systems via electronic interfaces. Data are forwarded to the Centre, processed, and returned to jurisdictions as aggregate data tables for verification and sign-off. The survey collects a wide array of information on young offender admissions to custody and community services (e.g., custody type, crime committed, sentence length, age, gender, Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal). The YCCS annual report is the primary vehicle for disseminating young offender information on prison populations and the use of community sanctions. To date, there have been four releases (Initiative only) of the YCCS annual report. Jurisdictional coverage varied from report to report since YCCS interfaces were phased-in over several years.

Interface projects have been completed, and data are being collected from Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Yukon. In addition, the interface project for Nova Scotia is nearing completion. Together, these jurisdictions represent 47% of the national coverage of youth corrections. While the development of an electronic interface is presently not feasible in some jurisdictions, Ontario and Quebec are able to provide some of the aggregate data required to populate the tables contained in the annual report. With the addition of Ontario and Quebec in 1998-99, only data from Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories would be missing from the annual report.

Further, in preparation for the proposed release of YCCS data, and as part of Statistics Canada's ongoing survey review process, the YCCS survey is currently undergoing a detailed methodological review, with particular attention to data quality issues and output.

The inclusion of aggregate data from Ontario and Quebec will increase the coverage of the YCCS significantly. Also, the methodological review of the YCCS will assess the reliability of the data elements covered in the annual report. Since the survey has been in operation since 1992 and since the YCCS is the primary source of young offender information on prison populations and the use of community sanctions.

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1997-98 (PDF - 320K) Amended (1999/11/12)