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NCJ Number: 207020 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Criminal Justice Act: The New Face of Canada's Youth Criminal Justice System
Journal: Family Court Review  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:July 2004  Pages:526-539
Author(s): Karen Endres
Date Published: July 2004
Page Count: 14
Document: HTML
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper analyzes extrajudicial measures and sentencing under Canada's 2003 Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), since these areas experienced the most change when the YCJA replaced the repealed Young Offenders Act (YOA).
Abstract: Extrajudicial measures were introduced in the YCJA in order to address the perceived overreliance of the YOA on the court system and custodial sentences for less serious nonviolent offenses. The YCJA mandates a distinction between serious violent offenses and less serious nonviolent offenses, and extrajudicial processing procedures are mandated for less serious nonviolent offenses. Under the YCJA, the police are given the primary responsibility for determining the appropriateness of extrajudicial measures, since they have more information with which to assess each situation. The mandates of the YCJA require police officers to use appropriate extrajudicial measures for less serious nonviolent offenses in order to reduce the number of juveniles processed through the formal juvenile justice system and to ensure that juveniles are not incarcerated for nonviolent offenses. The reform dedicated to juvenile sentencing under the YCJA was extensive and included even a change in terminology from "disposition" in the YOA to "sentence" in the YCJA. As a result, part of the YCJA is a renewed methodology to sentencing that is principle-based and focuses on holding the young person accountable for his/her actions by imposing a sentence proportional to the seriousness of the offense. The reformed youth criminal justice system reserves the most serious interventions for the more serious crimes. A custodial sentence is not an option unless all other possible alternatives have been exhausted; further, every period of custody is to be followed by a period of supervision in the community as an attempt to foster the rehabilitation and reintegration of the youth into the community. 5 figures and 30 notes
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Canada; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile codes; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile sentencing; Police discretion; Police juvenile diversion
Note: Downloaded September 28, 2004.
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