Youth Custody and Community Services (YCCS)

Detailed information for 2001/2002





Record number:


The purpose of this survey is to provide important indicators as to the nature and case characteristics of youth in correctional services and are of use to justice agencies, the media and the public.

Data release - March 30, 2004


This survey collects data on the application of youth dispositions under the Young Offenders Act (YOA) on an annual basis (fiscal year) and on youth placed in remand facilities. The Youth Custody and Community Services (YCCS) data describe the characteristics of admissions to youth custody and community services by the nature of the offence, the length of disposition ordered by the court and releases from correctional services by duration of actual time served. Demographic information is also available for youth admissions (sex, age and Aboriginal status).

These data provide important indicators as to the nature and characteristics of caseflow in youth corrections and are of use to agencies responsible for the delivery of these services, the media and the public.

Statistical activity

The survey is currently administered as part of the National Justice Statistics Initiative (NJSI). Since 1981, the federal, provincial and territorial Deputy Ministers responsible for the administration of justice in Canada, with the Chief Statistician, have been working together in an enterprise known as the NJSI. The mandate of the NJSI is to provide information to the justice community as well as the public on criminal and civil justice in Canada. Although this responsibility is shared among federal, provincial and territorial departments, the lead responsibility for the development of Canada's statistical system remains with Statistics Canada.

Reference period: Fiscal year

Collection period: 3rd quarter of the fiscal year (start in October, end in November)


  • Children and youth
  • Correctional services
  • Crime and justice
  • Crime and justice (youth)

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The Youth Custody and Community Services Survey describes the services provided by governmental agencies responsible for youth correctional services in the provincial and territorial sectors. More specifically, the data examine caseload characteristics relating to youth custodial and community supervision services; including custodial remands, custodial sentences, and probation.

Instrument design

The YCCS aggregate and micro-data data collection tools and data requirements were developed with the assistance of representatives from the federal, provincial and territorial agencies responsible for the delivery of youth correctional services in Canada.

Micro-data are extracted electronically from administrative databases by means of a software interface and submitted to Statistics Canada in an electronic format. Prior to data collection commencing, these interfaces are extensively tested to ensure the required data standards are met. For respondents supplying aggregate data, the aggregate form is sent directly to the respondents who fill in the data manually. Computer-aided data collection techniques are not used other than local programming used to extract administrative data from information systems.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: October 22, 2002 to July 3, 2003

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Jurisdictions providing aggregate data complete a set of standard data tables, which are used to compile national data on admissions and releases. Micro data, on the other hand, are extracted directly from provincial operational systems, through the use of interface programs. Since 1999-2000, only Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta have provided micro data. The interface programs are designed to extract specific data elements and values identified in the National Data Requirements developed by provincial/territorial and federal members of the National Justice Statistics Initiative. Micro data received by the YCCS survey staff are processed by the YCCS Central System, which edits and loads clean micro data onto the YCCS database. The loaded data are later used to generate admission counts, which are tabulated in the aggregate standard data tables.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

With respect to the micro-data component of the survey, little statistical imputation methodology is currently used to handle missing or inconsistent data. Rather, the YCCS aggregate data outputs are reviewed by survey staff to identify missing or partial responses or other errors. The incoming cell counts are compared to the same cells from earlier years to check for outliers and general consistency. Automated error procedures are not applied, partly due to the small number of respondents. However, issues that arise are reported to the local data suppliers to assess whether there is a problem and the actions to be taken. Aggregate data are visually edited for errors, such as missing values and reasonability.


Formal imputation is not performed on this survey. Missing data or obvious error situations are resolved in consultation with the local data suppliers. From time to time, local suppliers will provide estimates (occasionally with the assistance of survey staff) in situations where only partial annual data are available.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The incoming data are assessed for completeness, historical inconsistency, the existence of outliers and reasonability.

The measurement and assessment of data quality is a complex undertaking. There are several dimensions to the concept of quality, many potential sources of error and often no comprehensive measures of data quality.

The CCJS relies a great deal on the accuracy of respondent information and their verification of that information. Errors arising in the original recording, coding, keying and transmission of data are difficult to measure and assess. Most of the jurisdictional computer systems incorporate basic editing routines to ensure that data fall into acceptable ranges for quantitative data. In some jurisdictions, look-up tables are used to validate the criminal code offence data. These actions certainly reduce the number of incoming errors to the CCJS but they do not entirely eliminate the errors. Random errors are more difficult to locate and correct compared to the systematic type errors. This last type of error can usually be corrected within the CCJS and feedback is given to the jurisdictions for correction.

Errors in the YCCS are detected using several strategies. Data incoming to the CCJS are reviewed for the amount of change from one year to the next for the same jurisdiction (where possible). Ratios can be calculated to verify that basic relationships are not dramatically changing over time. For example, the ratio of males to females in some tables should be fairly consistent over time.

For some variables, the amount of data appearing in the published tables is a fraction of the total possible. Data are missing for a variety of reasons. In some variables, the data element is simply not collected by a jurisdiction or it is collected but not available for use in the YCCS survey. Additional data can also be missing because of invalid responses or codes. Where possible, feedback is given to the jurisdictions in order to improve data quality procedures and processes. Little statistical imputation methodology is currently used to handle missing or inconsistent data.

YCCS survey staff contact individual jurisdictions regarding problems discovered after initial data processing with the objective to increase the useable amount of data for publication. In some cases, the errors are quickly fixed (a re-coding is done). In other situations, the errors are more difficult to correct with the result being that data from the jurisdiction may not be included in the publication.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any data which would divulge information obtained under the Statistics Act that relates to any identifiable person, business or organization without the prior knowledge or the consent in writing of that person, business or organization. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Preliminary results are not released or available to the public. Information pertaining to personal characteristics are presented as percentages and not released as 'units of count' in order to maintain confidentiality.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Time series adjustments are not required for the information on annual average counts or admissions to programs.

Data accuracy

This survey collects census data as extracted and compiled by local respondents. Formal data quality indicators, beyond annual respondent verification and review for accuracy and consistency, are not part of the survey methodology.


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