Ch 4 and 5 text book review

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University of Toronto St. George
Woodsworth College Courses
Sandra Bucerius

Chapter 4 The YCJA and particular focus on issues related to police decision-making and diversion from court, sentencing, and use of custody [a justice-system practice procedure, or program that substitutes an informal response to offending for formal response, thus diverting people out of the formal justice system] Context of Canadian Youth justice reform: with the YOA was criticized for making the law too soft on youth and increasing the use of court and custody (consequently Canada had one of the highest rates of youth custody  YCJA was implemented to replace the YOA  goal to reduce incarceration and youth involvement in the courts and improve effectiveness of response to the small number of most serious crime and violent offenders Reducing the use of courts and Custody: community based response are a cost effective way to deal with juvenile offender especially those who have committed less serious crime  Imprisonment of young offenders has often a damaging effect even is there is general emphasis of rehabilitation in youth custody [a penology theory that an offender can be returned by appropriate programs to a state of non- offending]/ inappropriate use of custody may contribute to a cycle of re- offending Supreme court judgment and the YCJA: the SCC requires that custody is to be used as a last resort for adolescents  SCC ruled out that general deterrence is not a legitimate consideration in the sentencing of adolescents under the YCJA [a penology theory that criminal sanctions will discourage people from committing crime]/ the YCJA directs judges to impose sentences that will facilitated the rehabilitation  Encourage extra juridical measures [under the YCJS, sanctions other than juridical proceeding that are meant to deal with young person alleged to have committed and offence]/ and extrajudicial sanctions [under the YJCA, relatively formal diversion programs that have been authorized by the provincial authorities Trends in youth justice and the impact of the YCJA: the recorded youth crime rate has slightly decreased since the YCJA [shows that YCJA has not resulted in an increasing, and any decreases in numbers of court cases or custodial population must be due to the changes in the functioning of the youth justice system  The YCJA has clearly resulted in a drop in the number of youth charged by police and an increase in the use of various methods of police diversion/ has also contributed to considerable reduction in regional differences in the use of alternatives to charging  YCJA goal to reduce remand custody [practice of holding a person in custodial facility before or during his or her court appearance]/ hard to access for Ontario (no data available)/ for this matter regional variations persist  Under the YCJA, imposing a custodial sentence in youth court is far more restrictive [only four circumstances in which a youth can be committed to custody and this is likely to reduce the use of it]  the level of violence entailed in the offence, the young person’s failure to comply with noncustodial sentences, a prior history of committing offences, exceptional cases where a young person has committed a serious indictable offence  When imposing a custodial sentence, the judges has to provide reasons why it has determined non-custodial sentence is inadequate New community based sentences: intended to provide youth with more supervision and support in the community.  Sentence introduced by the YCJA, deferred custody and supervision order [a community based alternative to a custodial sentence under which the young person will serve his or her sentence in the community under a set of strict conditions], if the conditions are not followed the young person may be sent to custody to serve the balance of that sentence  CDSO has been imposed about 4% of sentences and great variations through provinces Custody and community supervision: under the YJCA all custodial sentences are composed of custodial and community phases. Introduction of the intensive rehabilitative custody supervision order (IRCS)  IRCS allows a court to confine youth to a mental health institute if suffering form psychological disorder and committed some of small number of serious offences  Since the YCJA, there has been a decline in custodial sentences in youth court. The observed reduction in the proportion of custodial sentences is strong evidence for the effectiveness of the provision of the YCJA that restrict the use of custodial sentences The YCJA also included provision to facilitate sentencing of very serious youth offenders in adult court. It expanded the concept of the presumptive offence [an offence for which, if a young person is found guilty, there is a presumption of an adult sentence]  Crown has to always justify using an adult sentencing/ although youth have a presumption of diminished blamewor
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