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Child and Youth Advocate releases special report on OC spray and segregation in Alberta’s young offender centres

by ahnationtalk on September 9, 201988 Views

Edmonton…Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate has completed a special report on oleoresin capsicum spray (OC spray, commonly referred to as pepper spray) and segregation in young offender centres.

The Advocate is making four recommendations related to reducing the use of OC spray and segregation as well as increasing accountability measures.

“Young people in custody often have complex needs and may present with difficult and challenging behaviours,” said Del Graff, Child and Youth Advocate. “It is imperative that the Young Offender Branch explores approaches to improve the health and well-being of young people while ensuring a safe environment for everyone. I sincerely hope the recommendations from this report will be quickly acted on to improve the circumstances for youth in custody.”

From January to March 2019, the OCYA received input from over 100 stakeholders through community conversations and one-to-one interviews. Young people, youth justice stakeholders, and community stakeholders shared their perspectives and experiences.

The purpose of this report is to provide advice to government related to improving the safety and well-being of young people in custody.

A copy of the report: “Care in Custody: A Special Report on OC Spray and Segregation in Alberta’s Young Offender Centres” is available on our website:

The Child and Youth Advocate has the authority under the Child and Youth Advocate Act to complete special reports on issues impacting children and youth who are receiving designated government services. This is the Advocate’s fourth special report.

The Office of the Child and Youth Advocate is an independent office of the Legislature, representing the rights, interests and viewpoints of children and young people receiving designated government services.


Media inquiries:

Tim Chander

Communications Manager

Office of the Child and Youth Advocate of Alberta 780-638-4064; C: 780-499-3601


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