Meeting at the ICPC of the Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux 

On September 9, 2022, we had the pleasure of welcoming to our offices in Downtown Montreal, Mr. Amine Smihi, Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux delegated to public tranquility, safety and prevention and Mr. Louis Audet Gosselin, Scientific and Strategic Director of the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalisation leading to Violence (CPRLV). The meeting was dedicated to present the organizations, to discuss the current issues and concerns of the City of Bordeaux in terms of urban safety, crime prevention and security governance, as well as to exchange on collaborations perspectives. 

We would like to thank Mr. Smihi for coming to Montreal; it was a pleasure to welcome him to our offices. We also thank Mr. Gosselin of the CPRMV for his participation in this very fruitful meeting. 

The visit of the CJGM Director of Special Projects to the ICPC

On July 25, 2022, the ICPC hosted Ms. Arij Riahi, Director of Special Projects at the Clinique juridique du Grand Montréal (Greater Montreal Legal Clinic – CJGM), at its offices in Downtown Montreal, to discuss the issues of insecurity affecting the borough of Montreal North. The meeting was part of a research project initiated this summer by the ICPC, which aims to map the services offered in the northeast part of the Island of Montreal – the boroughs of Montreal North, Rivières-des-Prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles, Saint-Léonard, and Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension – in terms of prevention of armed violence. Subjects discussed at the meeting included the place of young people in the borough, issues that have emerged since the pandemic, and possible solutions to issues related to gun violence. 

We would like to thank Ms. Riahi for participating in the meeting. 

Espoir 18 in Montreal

Since 2019, the ICPC and the Parisian association Espoir 18 have been working closely together on a project on improving police-population dialogue, with a particular focus on youth and minority groups in their relationship with the police institution. The aim of this project was to document inspiring experiences and practices on both sides of the Atlantic, but also to promote the transfer of knowledge and establish collaborations around this theme.  

Espoir 18 is an association that works for the integration and socialization of more than 2,000 young people between the ages of 6 and 30 in certain working-class neighborhoods of Paris, through cultural, artistic, and sports activities. As part of its mission to support success and prevent delinquency, the association is involved in the deployment of a variety of reference initiatives, ranging from the creation of artistic projects to the organization of international mobility trips. 

As part of this collaboration, a team from Espoir 18, consisting of around thirty people, including twenty young people from the association, was in Montreal from 8 to 12 July 2022. This mission was part of a North American tour, notably in Washington and New York, of two reference theatrical performances, Bad Mama and Lettres à Nour, after a year of touring in French cities.   

We are very glad to have welcomed them to Montreal.    

The plays address multiple issues, concerns, aspirations, and realities that contemporary youth go through, especially in certain disadvantaged territories: daily life, radicalization that can lead to violence, identity issues, relationships between generations and with institutions, as well as other subjects. Moreover, Bad Mama is a co-development project, which started in 2019, between young people and youth workers, directed by Farid Abdelkrim, and performed by the theatrical troupe of “Z’improbables” (a troupe of Espoir 18). This artistic initiative became a way for the group to learn to express themselves on sometimes complex subjects. As for Lettres à Nour, it is a play adapted from Rachid Benzine’s novel and directed by him, performed by Farid Abdelkrim and Céline Dély, which aims to deconstruct the ideology of Daech and challenge the certainties of the spectators.  

For the first evening of theatre, which took place on Saturday 9 July at the Union Française de Montréal in Downtown Montreal, nearly 40 people were present to see the plays. The audience also had the opportunity to discuss with the group after the performances.   

On Monday, July 11, Espoir 18 and the ICPC were hosted in Montreal North by the organizations Parole d’excluEs and Hoodstock for a visit to the Pelletier homes, the Parole d’excluEs’ offices, and to the place de l’Espoir. These visits allowed the group to exchange with local stakeholders and to learn more about the realities of the neighborhood.  

 

In the evening, the second theatrical performance took place at Espace 7000 in Montreal North, welcoming nearly 75 people. The audience also had the opportunity to discuss with the group the issues raised by the plays, the background of these plays, and the impact that this type of engagement has had on the young people since the beginning of the process.   

 

Thank you to all the participants who attended the events.    

ICPC presents the Soirées théâtres d’Espoir 18

Since 2019, the ICPC and Espoir 18 have been working closely together in a project on improving of police-population dialogue, with a special attention on the young public and minority groups in their relationship with the police institution. The aim of this project is to document the inspiring experiences and practices on both sides of the Atlantic, but also to promote the transfer of knowledge and promote the transfer of knowledge and to establish the collaborations around this theme.

As part of their collaboration, Espoir 18 is organizing a North American mobility tour in the summer of 2022, including a visit to New York and Washington, with the local support of the French Embassy. The mobile team, made up of around thirty people, including twenty young people from the association, will also visit Montreal from July 8 to the 12, 2022.

The ICPC is delighted to be able to welcome them in Montreal.

After a year of touring in cities in France, Espoir 18 will perform this summer in Quebec and the United States with two North American landmark theatrical performances: 

Bad Mama – Directed by Farid Abdelkrim, performed by the “Z’improbables” troupe 

Lettres à Nour – Adapted from the novel by Rachid Benzine and directed by him, performed by Farid Abdelkrim and Céline Dély

The theatrical evenings will address the multiple issues and aspirations of contemporary youth, particularly in certain disadvantaged areas: daily life, radicalisation that can lead to violence, questions of identity, the relationship between generations and with institutions, and other topics. 

We invite you to attend the presentation of one of these plays during these theatrical events that will be held free of charge on the following dates :

Saturday, July 9, 2022 at 6 pm at the Union Française in Downtown, Montreal (Rougier Room).

Presentation of Bad Mama and Lettres à Nour, followed by a discussion with the audience. 

To register.

Monday, July 11, 2022 at 6pm, at Espace 7000 in Montreal-North (Désilets room), in collaboration with Parole d’excluEs

Presentation of Bad Mama and Lettres à Nour, followed by a discussion with the public.

To register

Youth mediation training offered by RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a second training of the 2nd thematic cycle of the activities was held last May 18. This training aimed at introducing the concept of mediation and provided an opportunity for participants to become familiar with various theoretical and practical tools in order to facilitate the process.   

The activity was carried out by Maxime Bonneau, clinical coordinator and trainer for PACT de rue, Déborah Griot, project coordinator, and Myriam, street worker with PACT de rue, a community organization member of RÉSAL that acts directly with youth and people in difficulty.  

In addition, a clinical supervision activity following this second cycle thematic training took place on June 1st and June 22. These clinical spaces allowed participants to recall the main components of the mediation process, the prerequisites for its implementation as well as the main communication techniques that were discussed during the training and to apply them in real-life situations.    

Some of the highlights from the training included:  

  • The importance of differentiating between the concepts of mediation, conciliation, and arbitration, as well as choosing the most appropriate option for each context. The process, the purpose and the roles of each party will differ depending on the option considered and the issue to be addressed.   
  • Mediation is a communicative process, in which the parties have an active and central role. The purpose of the mediation process is not necessarily linked to reaching an agreement or a decision, but rather will be discussed in the course of the exchange between the parties.   
  • The person taking on the role of mediator must be impartial, a good listener and act as a facilitator to encourage the parties’ introspection.   
  • Several communication techniques such as active listening, mirroring or positive reinforcement can be used.   
  • The mediation process, which itself is divided into several more or less flexible stages, benefits from preparatory meetings with each of the parties, allowing them to be informed about the process, to validate their informed consent and to be prepared for the various eventualities.   

So far, the activities of this second thematic cycle “Mediation with youth” have reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working in the prevention of youth violence.  

Training on youth violence prevention through sport and the arts offered by the RÉSAL

As part of the development of the community of practice of the Réseau d’échange et de soutien aux actions locales (RÉSAL), of which the ICPC is a member and coordinator, a series of activities were launched this spring. A first training session of the first thematic cycle was held on May 12. The objective of this training was to highlight the importance of an approach based on sports or artistic practices in the prevention of violence and the creation of a bond of trust with young Montrealers. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the lessons learned, successes and potential challenges that can be encountered in this type of approach.  

The activity was facilitated by Nicolas Barbeau-Lachance, founder and coordinator of the school of intervention through martial arts and combat sports at RAP Jeunesse and Cloé Daguet, counselor at the organization La Collective.  

In addition, two clinical supervision activities of the 1st thematic cycle took place on May 19 and June 2. These clinical spaces aim to promote mutual aid and the horizontal transfer of knowledge by providing organizations with strong practices needs to find support and methodological coaching. 

Some of the highlights of the training include:

  • The Theatre of the Oppressed (TOP) is a participatory, supportive, and demanding practice that mobilizes the body as a vehicle for a message. It creates change and provides a framework for collective reappropriation and awareness on a variety of issues.  
  • Martial arts and combat sports can be a tool to support the modification of violent behaviors in young people, but also to be used for collective empowerment for certain at-risk or vulnerable populations.  
  • Although they are two disciplines that at first glance seem rather distant, i.e. combat sports and TOP, similarities and shared challenges in terms of intervention can be raised. Through body and movement, these practices require young people to learn continuously and to master themselves in order to act on interpersonal violence or to intervene on oppression.  

Furthermore, the success of both disciplines requires active and sustained participation from the practitioners and the young people in order to be part of a long-term follow-up and intervention approach.  

  • It is beneficial for practitioners to name and introduce the underlying objectives of the intervention to the young people through the practice of sports or artistic activities, in order to preserve and strengthen the bond of trust. 

The activities of this first cycle reached 25 workers from Montreal community organizations working to prevent juvenile violence.  

New publication from an ICPC partner

The UNESCO Chair in Prevention of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism (UNESCO-PREV Chair), Sherbrooke University, partner of the ICPC, has recently published a report titled "Constraints and opportunities in evaluating programs for prevention of violent extremism: how the practitioners see it". This report is based on semi-directed interviews conducted in an earlier study by the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) (Madriaza, Ponsot, & Marion, 2017) and on a focus group conducted by the UNESCO-PREV Chair in Ottawa, Canada, in March 2019.

To read the report: Constraints and opportunities in evaluating programs for prevention of violent extremism: how the practitioners see it