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NCJ Number: 212453 Find in a Library
Title: Probation Sentences and Proportionality Under the Young Offenders Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice  Volume:47  Issue:4  Dated:October 2005  Pages:709-723
Author(s): Jessica E. Pulis; Jane B. Sprott
Date Published: October 2005
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study investigated the use of proportionate probation sentences under both the Young Offenders Act (YOA) and the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) in Canada.
Abstract: While the YOA directs judges to consider a number of factors when deciding the sentences for youthful offenders, it does not directly indicate that judges should consider the proportionality of the offense. The YCJA, on the other hand, explicitly directs judges to consider proportionality in the sentencing phase of adjudication. However, many judges operating under YOA already considered proportionate sentencing in their use of custody. This study examined judge’s use of proportionality under both the YOA and the YCJA in their sentences of probation. Data on 108 juvenile probation cases sentenced under the YOA were collected during 2002 while data on 147 juvenile probation cases sentenced under the YCJA were collected in 2004; both were drawn from a courthouse in Ontario. Variables under examination included sex, age, two most serious convictions in the case, length of probation order, and other sanctions imposed in addition to probation. Results of statistical analyses indicated judge’s use of proportionate probation sentences was more likely under the YCJA than it had been under the YOA. Moreover, it appeared the YCJA also reduced the number of minor juvenile offenders brought before the court. Future research should focus on the impact of extra-legal factors on the proportionality of probation sentences under both sentencing schemes. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile probation
Index Term(s): Canada; Crime seriousness measures; Legislation; Sentencing guidelines
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