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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 202001 Find in a Library
Title: Bill C-7: The New Youth Criminal Justice Act: A Darker Young Offenders Act?
Journal: International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice  Volume:27  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2003  Pages:19-38
Author(s): Chris Giles; Margaret Jackson
Editor(s): Mahesh K. Nalla
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 20
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an analysis of the 2003 Canadian Bill C-7, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) which deals informally through diversion programs and conditional release programs with youth engaging in minor offenses and incarcerating repeat, serious, and violent offenders, and determines whether the objectives of YCJA can be achieved.
Abstract: The push to replace Canada’s youth legislation, the Young Offenders Act (YOA), was generated from the cumulating of factors resulting in a piece of new legislation, Bill C-7, the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), proclaimed in 2003. The intent of YCJA was to correct the inadequacies of YOA by promoting accountability, respect, and fairness in the youth justice system. This paper offers an analysis of the claims of the Canadian Government by focusing on the substantive sections of the YCJA, comparing the YCJA with the YOA, and incorporating social science research dealing with the probable effects of innovations. The paper demonstrates that Bill C-7, YCJA is potentially more punitive than the YOA with an emphasis on a crime control model of youth justice at the expense of the enhanced due process rights of young offenders in the YOA. The YCJA was shown not to be substantially different than the YOA as a policy document. It was argued that the emphasis on extrajudicial measures as a means of removing non-serious offenders from the court process is likely to fail. It was also shown that the more inclusive provisions for the transfer of youth to criminal court are problematic. The analysis indicate that the increased flexibility accorded to police and prosecutors to negotiate the admissibility of evidence gained from youth is geared towards producing a more efficient system of youth justice. Lastly, the paper contends that the YCJA violates many of the articles contained in the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Canada is a signatory. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice system
Index Term(s): Canada; Juvenile crime control; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Legislation; Legislative impact
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