Volunteering in the youth justice sector can provide valuable learning experiences that can help with education programs or employment in related fields.

Custody and detention facilities

Custody and detention facilities in Ontario are either operated directly by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS) or by agencies funded by the ministry. The Youth Justice Division of MCCSS operates five secure custody and detention youth facilities.

Custody and detention facilities provide rehabilitative programming and reintegration services within a secure residential environment to young persons in conflict with the law. These facilities accommodate young people who were ages 12 to 17 at the time of their offences and who are being detained while their matters are before the courts or while they are serving their sentences.

Each of the five ministry-operated youth facilities in Ontario coordinate their own volunteer opportunities and programs. Contact the volunteer coordinators at the facilities:

Cecil Facer Youth Centre
2500 South Lane Road
Sudbury, Ontario
P6B 4K2Tel: 705-522-1250
Donald Doucet Youth Centre
521 Second Line East
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6B 4K2Tel: 705-942-1355
Justice Ronald Lester Youth Centre
2435 Highway 61
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7J 0J8Tel: 807-476-1470
Sprucedale Youth Centre
660 Ireland Road. PO Box 606
Simcoe, Ontario
N3Y 4L8Tel: 519-426-3561
Roy McMurtry Youth Centre
8500 McLaughlin Road South
Brampton, Ontario
L6Y 0N6Tel: 905-454-5000


Youth volunteers can volunteer with the Youth Justice Volunteer Program (YJVP). In participating probation offices, volunteers use their skills and experiences to support youth who are involved with probation services.

We match the skills and abilities of volunteers with the learning needs of youth to:

  • role model pro-social behaviours and develop positive and trusting relationships
  • help youth develop positive life skills and interpersonal relationships
  • engage youth with community resources and pro-social activities
  • support youth to follow the conditions of their court order

To learn more about Youth Justice Volunteer Program opportunities that may be in your area, contact:

Service Delivery Branch

Job opportunities

Work in a custody and detention facility

We often recruit people for positions in youth custody and detention facilities operated by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. To be eligible to work as a youth services officer, you must prove:

  • commitment to working with young people in conflict with the law
  • one of the following combinations of work experience and education:
    • one year of relevant work experience and the successful completion of postsecondary education from a college or university of recognized standing in a related field with emphasis in:
      • social/human services
      • behaviour management
      • adolescent development
      • knowledge of family group dynamics
    • three years of relevant work experience and the successful completion of a recognized secondary school diploma with supplementary courses in human behaviour
  • eligibility to work in Canada
  • paid or volunteer experience in working with youth
  • current Emergency First Aid and CPR (level C) and AED Heartsaver certificates

Other requirements in the recruitment and hiring process include:

  • testing and evaluation procedures to determine your suitability for the job
  • physical abilities testing
  • medical examination
  • confirmation of an up-to-date immunization history
  • enhanced employment security screening and reference checks, including:
    • Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)
    • other police and non-police screening checks
  • an interview

If you are successful through the application, testing and interview stages, you will need to attend a five-week pre-employment training program before you can work as a youth services officer.

For more information, contact:

Youth Services Officer Recruitment
6711 Mississauga Road, Suite 700
Mississauga, Ontario
L5N 2W3

Apply to be a youth services officer. Only those selected for further screening or an interview will be contacted.

Probation officers

Probation officers are assigned as the single case manager for each youth throughout their involvement in the youth justice system. Probation officers also deliver services in local communities across the province to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of youth in conflict with the law and reduce each youth’s risk to reoffend.

The probation officer role requires a Bachelor of Arts degree in social and/or behavioural services from a university of recognized standing. Candidates must pass an enhanced employment security screening, including a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC), and successfully complete an employment interview. For more information, contact:

Service Delivery Branch

For probation officer job postings, check online at Ontario Public Service Careers

Provide programming at youth justice facilities

While in custody, youth receive rehabilitation and reintegration supports. Structured programming can include:

  • education
  • addiction counselling
  • anger management
  • life skills
  • recreation and cultural programs

If you have an interest in providing programming at Ontario’s ministry-operated youth justice facilities, contact the facility directly.

We fund a range of programs that include:

  • prevention
  • diversion
  • alternatives to custody
  • community-based interventions
  • services/supports targeted to specific populations and custody/detention