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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134507 Find in a Library
Title: Towards a More Socially Informed Understanding of Canadian Delinquency Legislation (From Young Offenders Act: A Revolution in Canadian Criminal Justice, P 3-16, 1991, Alan W Leschied, Peter G Jaffe, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-134506)
Author(s): G West
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto Press
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2W8, Canada
Sale Source: University of Toronto Press
Marketing Manager
10 St. Mary Street
Suite 700
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2W8,
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The development of the Young Offenders Act in Canada is described from a historical perspective with emphasis on the social and political factors involved in both earlier and recent periods.
Abstract: The laws of the 19th century reflected general concern about public disorder in the growing Canadian cities and usually included and responded in the same way to crime by young persons and crime by adults. The concept of juvenile delinquency did not exist until the passage of the Juvenile Delinquents Act in 1908. This law was vague, lacked due process, included a wide range of new juvenile status offenses, and gave authorities wide dispositional powers. It made juvenile justice part of an administrative welfare program and subsequently allowed much of its humanitarian potential to be undermined in its implementation. The Young Offenders Act passed in 1982 has eliminated all status offenses from the Federal code, specified maximum 3-year sentences, and added procedural safeguards. The history of the development of this and previous legislation and wider policy relating to youth shows that Canadian governments have been less concerned with justice and the prevention of delinquency than with maintaining their control and legitimacy by managing youth. 32 references
Main Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile codes
Index Term(s): Canada; Custody vs treatment conflict; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile justice reform
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