Youth Criminal Justice
As set out by the YCJA’s Preamble, the emphasis in a youth trial is to rehabilitate and reintegrate so as to optimize the youths’ future opportunities in society. This includes: addressing the circumstances underlying the behaviour, ensuring fair and proportionate accountability, protecting the offenders’ identity and recognizing the effect that gender, ethnicity, culture, language and special needs may have had on the behaviour.
If you are a youth charged with a criminal
Before any case can proceed in Youth Court, the parent or guardian of said youth must be notified that their son or daughter is being prosecuted. Additionally, police cannot take statements from a youth that has requested the presence of their parent or guardian. Youths also must be notified of their rights to remain silent as well as their right to be represented by legal counsel in writing.
Youths are entitled to privacy protections beyond the scope of what adults can expect. The identity of a youth before, during and after criminal proceedings will always be protected, even if that youth is found to be guilty of the crime for which they were charged. In most cases, any record of a youths’ criminal
The first course of action in youth justice is to decide whether a warning or caution is enough to reinforce societal values and respect for the law. If the
In Canadian society, it is generally accepted that young people do not understand the seriousness of their actions to the degree that adults are expected to. Further to that belief is that youths are more susceptible to rehabilitation and reintegration, which is why the Canadian criminal justice system applies special rules to youth cases. A thorough understanding of the YCJA is key to securing justice and ensuring that the aforementioned rights are upheld at every stage of the proceedings.
If you are a youth or the parent or guardian of a youth that has been charged with a criminal