Youth Criminal Justice Act - The Canadian Encyclopedia
The Youth Criminal Justice Act Summary and Background
In attempts to address the concerns of Canadians and to react to the youth crime problem, lawmakers have, from time to time, proposed amendments to youth justice legislation. This document provides an overview of the principal legislative provisions that govern the way in which the police, the courts and the correctional systems must deal with those between 12 and 17 years of age when they are charged with a crime. The first section briefly traces the evolution of Canadian legislation in the area. The second section describes the philosophy and principles underlying the Youth Criminal Justice Act (), which currently governs criminal and justice matters affecting young people in Canada. The third section briefly outlines the sentences imposed on those convicted of an offence as a young person. The final section deals with the possible consequences of a conviction under the , specifically how criminal records are established and kept and how bodily substances may be taken in order to store a young person’s DNA in the National DNA Data Bank administered by the RCMP.
Youth Criminal Justice Act - Reintegration
Youth crime in general, and violent youth crime in particular, is a significant source of concern to many Canadians. In part, the concern is connected with an impression that crime committed by young people is on the rise, though the latest police statistics indicate that by 2011 the youth crime rate had fallen by 22% compared with 2001. The drop in youth crime rates over this period was mainly the result of a decrease in property crime. The rate of violent crimes in which the alleged perpetrator is a young person decreased by 12% between 2001 and 2011, while the rate of youth property crime dropped by 31%. In 2011, police identified 135,647 alleged youth criminals, of whom 42,799 were suspected of violent crimes.
Youth or juvenile crime is a controversial issue in Canadian politics. While the fact that youth crime is quite common in Canada is lamentable, there are disagreements concerning how to treat youths in the criminal system. The controversy centres on the best approach taken to address youth offenders and the severity of punishment that should be given. This article provides a historical overview of Canadian approaches to youth justice. It outlines several stages of Canadian legislation, including the 1908 Juvenile Delinquents Act, the 1982 Young Offenders Act, and the 2003 Youth Criminal Justice Act.In addition, the Act makes substantive changes to the current system for sentencing youth as adults. First, youth will no longer be transferred to adult court. Instead, youth court judges have the authority to impose adult sentences. Second, the legislation lowers the age for sentencing youth as adults. Under the amended Young Offenders Act, there was a presumption that cases involving youth aged 16 or over charged with murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, or aggravated sexual assault would be transferred to adult court. The Youth Criminal Justice Act lowers the age of presumption to 14; however, individual provinces can raise the age to 15 or 16. Furthermore, in addition to the offences mentioned above, judges can hand out adult sentences to repeat serious offenders. However, the Act places more emphasis on treatment for violent young offenders than the Young Offender Act, believing that rehabilitating them is in the best interests of both the offender and society.