Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS)
Detailed information for 2020-2021
The purpose of the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey is to provide important indicators as to the nature and case characteristics of youth in correctional services and are of use to agencies responsible for the delivery of these services, the media and the public. The survey collects annual data on the delivery of youth correctional services from the provinces and territories.
Data release - April 20, 2022
- Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s)
- Data sources and methodology
- Data accuracy
The Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS) provides important indicators as to the nature and characteristics of correctional caseflow that are of use to agencies responsible for the delivery of these services, the media and the public. The survey collects annual data on the delivery of youth correctional services from the provincial/territorial correctional systems. Key themes include: new admissions (commencements) to correctional programs of pre-trial detention, sentenced custody, probation, and other community-based programs. The survey uses two collection instruments: aggregate data are entered into a database; and automated extraction of microdata from local information systems. Units of count are tabulated from the microdata and included as part of the annual YCCS process described above.
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, April 1st to March 31st
Collection period: May through December following the end of the reference period for the survey (fiscal year)
- Children and youth
- Correctional services
- Crime and justice
- Crime and justice (youth)
Data sources and methodology
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.
The data for the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS) process come from respondent's local operational systems. Data are either submitted via information request questionnaires which are completed manually, or are extracted electronically via computer interface.
The YCCS questionnaire was developed with the assistance of representatives from the provincial and territorial agencies responsible for the delivery of youth correctional services in Canada. The questions are based on a set of information requirements that were developed through consultation with these representatives.
The questionnaire is sent directly to the respondents who complete the instrument locally. Computer-aided data collection techniques are not used other than local programming used to extract administrative aggregated data from information systems.
YCCS data for respondents that participate in the Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) report to a person-based survey. The ICSS collects microdata extracted via computer interface according to the survey's interface specifications which are based on a set of national data requirements. The rules pertaining to the YCCS units of count are applied to the extracted microdata - the output which forms the input data to the YCCS.
This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up.
The Integrated Correctional Services Survey is a census survey based on electronically-extracted microdata that is conducted annually. It is also longitudinal in that it follows correctional histories of offenders. Therefore, the Youth Custody and Community Services survey has become a census with a cross-sectional design and a longitudinal follow-up. Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.
Data collection for this reference period: 2021-06-23 to 2022-01-26
Responding to this survey is mandatory.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.
The Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS) (aggregate component) collects administrative data directly from the respondent's local operational systems. Jurisdictions complete an electronic questionnaire that is entered directly into a database. These data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Canada Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19.
The Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) (microdata component of the YCCS) collects person-based data organized by three distinct records: 1) the offender (e.g. sociodemographic characteristics, such as age, sex, Aboriginal identity, etc.); 2) the legal status, such as sentenced custody, remand, probation and the characteristics of the status (e.g. aggregate sentence, conditions of supervision, etc.); 3) events that occur while under supervision (e.g. escapes, temporary absence, releases, breaches of probation, etc.). Jurisdictions data are collected through the ICSS. These data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Canada Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19.
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .
Data for the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (aggregate component) are reviewed by survey staff on their receipt to identify missing or partial responses. 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 to the results of this aggregate survey, 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.
The Integrated Correctional Services Survey (microdata component) central processing system contains an automated edit module that examines all incoming data for format, logic and consistency. Field values that do not meet specifications or are out of range are deemed to be 'not available' and are re-coded accordingly. Imputations such as donor imputation and estimation are not performed.
No imputation is done for this survey.
This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.
The incoming data are assessed for completeness, historical inconsistency, the existence of outliers and reasonability. Processed data, including Integrated Correctional Services Survey data that have been tabulated into the Youth Custody and Community Services Survey units of count, are then returned to the respondents for verification.
The variation in delivery of correctional services across the jurisdictions hinders, to some extent, precise cross-jurisdictional comparisons as the data elements captured are continually being refined to reflect local and legislative variations. The key measures presented although not perfectly precise, are still sufficient to monitor correctional trends, to stimulate policy analysis, and to evaluate legislative changes in a general way.
Factors impacting on cross-jurisdictional comparability are both definitional and systemic in nature. Definitional inconsistencies, which are in part a reflection of administrative differences, are outlined in table footnotes. Major administrative differences are: division in responsibility, administration of youth and adult services, and differing types of information systems. Information systems and the data elements used in these systems are generally established to serve local needs. Therefore comparable national data are not always achieved by aggregating data from local operational systems, even though labels used to describe the data are the same.
The products from this survey are subject to both institutional and peer (respondents, heads of correctional services, etc.) review.
Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. 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.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
This methodology does not apply to this survey.
The Youth Custody and Community Services Survey (YCCS) (aggregate component) collects aggregate census data as extracted and compiled by local respondents, including those that are generated from the Integrated Correctional Services Survey (ICSS) microdata process. Formal data quality indicators, beyond annual respondent verification and review for accuracy and consistency, are not part of the survey methodology.
Accuracy of the ICSS data is assessed through the tabulation of YCCS units of count, derived from ICSS microdata, and included in the general YCCS verification process.
- Calculating the Unit of Analysis for the YCCS Survey