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Joint program works to keep at-risk kids out of gangs

Any child is at risk of ending up in a gang, according to a social worker with a joint city and police run program.

Any child is at risk of ending up in a gang, according to a social worker with a joint city and police run program.

The Youth At Risk Development program works with more than 50 teens in Calgary. They are the children identified as being at the highest risk of ending up as gang members.

"The hope is that we are not going to see as many of those kids in young adulthood facing [the] criminal charges [associated with] gang involvement," said counsellor, Daphne Buffett.

The police have two officers working with the program. Cst. Al Devolin says he is happy with the resources in the program but would welcome more.

"I truly believe if you directed a lot of resources towards the prevention side of things you could really prevent a lot of young people from going into that lifestyle."

The Y.A.R.D. program is almost three years old and Devolin says it has been successful.

"We've prevented a lot of young people from a trajectory that would take them into the criminal system and by doing that we've saved the system a lot of money."


 
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