A plea for help

Youth “has to commit crimes to survive”


The following is an email written on Nov. 16 by a young offender’s case worker, Brent Buckler, to youth and social workers in Iqaluit on the eve of a 17-year-old youth’s third release from Young Offenders. It was included in an affidavit filed in the Nunavut Court of Justice on Dec. 14.


“Once again, 17-year-old homeless, parentless [name omitted] is about to be released from custody for the seventh time to the community for minor crimes such as break and enters. Once again we have nowhere to send him and no support for him. Once again the justice system and health and social services have failed this beneficiary who must have rights as a citizen of Canada.

“This youth self admittedly has to commit crimes to survive in Nunavut and this is evident by some of his last offences such as stealing food from a store. I am asking again if anyone has any ideas of support, a safe home or a big brother atmosphere for this youth.

“This youth is hard working, very smart, not afflicted with any mental health issues other than the ones imposed on him from the life he has had to lead.

“If you have any ideas on how or where we can introduce this youth to a nurturing environment before Dec. 6 or if you would like to meet on this matter please call immediately.”

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