“When we’re talking about moving a child from the youth centre back into the community, we need to take a lot of care and attention,” she said, adding that when a child is ready to be released, there needs to be a plan in place.
“If that plan is not in place — and I’m not pointing fingers — the time needs to be made to ensure that plan is developed and implemented. That’s our responsibility.”
Children’s advocate Darlene MacDonald recently told The Canadian Press she gets calls from judges who want to release young people from police custody, but can’t because there is nowhere appropriate for them to go. She said judges have said they don’t want to see youth put up in hotels, so the children remain in jail until Child and Family Services can find somewhere for them to stay.
Irvin-Ross said both MacDonald and aboriginal leaders have raised concerns with her about how much time children in the care are spending in jail. The government is always looking for ways to reduce the length of time youth in care spend behind bars, she said