November 21, 2019
Youth Criminal Justice Act
● Federal legislation for how to treat 12-17-year-olds
● The focus is on reintegration and rehabilitation. Proportionality is different for young
people. The YCJA recognizes that young persons must be held accountable for criminal
acts, although not in the same way or to the same extent as adults.
● Mental and cognitive ability is more limited
● Young people usually get out of jail much faster, if they go to jail at all
● Half the time we do not end up charging them.
● Usually being young is a mitigating circumstance
○ St mikes - Premeditated, sex crime, violent offence, severity, aggravating factors
when we sentence - young people/vulnerable people and animals
● We updated the Young offenders act because it was too lenient. It did not help
differentiate between violent and non-violent offences.
● Two streams
○ Violent - full extent of the law
○ Non-violent - Diversion, extrajudicial measures, community service, counselling
services, The focus is on trying to change the pattern of behaviour that led to the
● They must attend school, they live at a certain place with a certain guardian
● Violations of the EJMs can land young people in Jail
● by parole officers (reactive)
● Still, they have a mandate to protect the public.
● Statistically, in terms of the data, it has proven to be more effective to not put young
offenders in jails
● Focused on restorative justice
● Did and do have their own system for CJ resolution
● Keeping young offenders who are indigenous near their communities
● Conferences - restorative justice - consensus
Publication bans. Are they absolute? Can they be nullified?
Flow charts (Cleo, 2014a and Cleo 2014b) charges can depend on age, the alleged crime,
evidence, past CJ interaction (50% of charges) in ONT against young people = guilty (small)
pleading guilty, plea bargaining
YJC replaced YOA which replaced JDA
YCJA used to help reduce the use of courts and incarceration. Fairer and more effective