Youth Justice (Diploma)

Applied Community Studies
Length of Program
Four semesters
Credential Type
Learning Format


Do you want to make a positive difference the lives of young offenders or youth at risk of offending? Help improve the lives of young people in your community or who are involved in the justice system with a career in youth justice.

Unique in British Columbia, Douglas College’s two-year Youth Justice Diploma program blends studies in child and youth counselling, criminology and youth justice. Courses in behaviour theory, public policy, skill development and professional practice, plus real-world experience through two practicum placements, ensure you are prepared to effectively assist at-risk youth or those who are already involved in the justice system once you graduate.

Get hired

The Youth Justice program at Douglas College enjoys an excellent reputation with employers, with many offering our students practicum positions and full-time jobs. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared for careers in a variety of social-service settings, including community and government agencies, school settings, treatment programs and justice system settings. Social and community service workers are in high demand in B.C., with 11,000 job openings expected between 2019 and 2029. Workers in this industry can expect a median salary of $42,108 annually, with opportunities to advance in both pay and position as management-level roles for social, community and correctional services are also expected to increase in the coming years.

Further your studies

The Youth Justice Diploma transfers into the third year of Douglas College’s Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Care and the second year of Douglas’s Bachelor of Social Work. The diploma credits can also be used to fulfill some of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in Applied Criminology.

The diploma also transfers to the third year of Royal Roads University’s Bachelor of Arts in Justice Studies program, which can be completed in one year on campus, or two years online (with short on-campus residencies).

Program Requirements

Curriculum Framework

Graduation Requirements:

  • Successful completion of 60 credits
  • 25% (15 credits) of all coursework must be completed at Douglas College

Program Requirements:

Course Number

Course Title


CRIM 1100

Introduction to the Criminal Justice System


YJWD 1100

Personal and Professional Issues For The Youth Justice Worker


CFCS 2432

Understanding Aboriginal Perspectives And Experiences


CYCC 1220

Counselling & Relationship Building With Children And Youth


YJWD 1240

Youth Justice: Practicum I


CRIM 1150

Introduction to Criminology


CRIM 1160

The Canadian Legal System


CRIM 1170

Introduction to Corrections


CFCS 1130

Change and Development Lifespan


CFCS 1260

Continuum of Substance Use


CRIM 2251

Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour


CRIM 2253

Youth, Crime and Law


CRIM 2260

Criminal Law


CFCS 2333

Change and Development: Families


CYCC 2360

Mental Health In Childhood & Adolescence


CYCC 2460

Family Violence and Abuse


YJWD 2300

Group Dynamics and Activity Planning For The Youth Justice Worker


YJWD 2240

Youth Justice: Practicum II


Select one course from the following 3 options:



CMNS 1110

Workplace Writing for Child, Family and Community Studies


CMNS 1115

Practical Writing


ENGL 1130

Academic Writing





Admissions Requirements

  • General College Admission Requirements
  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 19 years by November 1st of the first semester
  • Successful participation in a formal selection process to determine suitability and program readiness 
  • Successful completion of 60 hours paid or volunteer experience in an approved setting
  • Criminal Record Search (CRS) - Information to be provided by the Office of the Registrar after successful completion of above requirements


You can get an average cost for your program - tuition and student fees, books, uniforms, lab fees etc - on the Program Cost page. 

Only programs approved for student loan funding are listed on the Program Cost page. For all other programs, refer to the Tuition Fee page.

Career Pathways

Unique in British Columbia, the Douglas College Youth Justice program enjoys an excellent reputation with employers. Because they possess job-ready skills, Douglas graduates are in high demand, with many employers offering practicum placements that often lead to permanent positions. Students do practicums in a variety of settings, including schools, youth centres, custodial settings for young people in conflict with the law, community policing, victim services, outreach services and support services.  Graduates receive support in the transition from classroom to career through networking opportunities, exposure to agencies in the youth justice community, professional development and the Career Centre.

Graduates are prepared for work in a variety of social-service settings, such as community or government agencies, schools, treatment programs and justice system settings. Employment opportunities include:

  • Court-ordered youth support 
  • Restorative justice 
  • Alcohol and drug counselling
  • Aboriginal youth services
  • Crime prevention
  • Gang and bullying prevention
  • Community and family services
  • Community-based youth programs
  • Youth corrections
  • Policing

Additional employment opportunities may be available for students who continue on to a degree program. Refer to the university transfer options section for more information.

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this program and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the program, consider the previous version as the applicable version.


More Information

Please note that shift work may be required in some practicums. Basic word processing skills are an asset.

Applicants are responsible for any costs incurred in the admission process.

English language skills are required for successful completion of the Youth Justice Diploma Program. Douglas College is committed to student success - we want you to experience success in your course work and your career.

Tuition Deposit

When offered a full-time seat in this program a non-refundable, non-transferable $350 tuition deposit is required. 

Work Experience Requirement

Every student who applies to the Youth Justice Diploma program must complete a minimum of 60 hours of paid or volunteer work, in a youth justice related setting. The purpose of this work is to help you determine whether youth justice work is the right field for you. This work should align with the following conditions:

  • Supervised, by a non-relative.
  • Work with youth.
  • Work with clients currently, or at-risk of becoming, involved with the justice system, due to behavioural, social, or emotional difficulties.   
  • Front-line service. This includes positions where you work directly with clients, participate in advocacy, participate in community organization, or assist with program development.
  • Work with clients in a social service setting is acceptable.

Work Experience Examples

Open or secure custody centre
Halfway house
Addiction treatment centre
Group home or crisis shelter
Alternate schools 
Social adjustment classes
Community centres
Boys and Girls Clubs
KidStart programs
Community police programs
Restorative justice programs
Family court counselling
Victim services units
Diversion programs

If you are unsure whether your work qualifies, please contact your Instructional Facilitator.

We encourage applicants to begin work as soon as possible, as the application to volunteer may take time, with limited hours per week.