The Great Young Offenders Act Debate

The debate for April 1999 is:

The moderator of the debate, Stephen Biss, believes that politicians have misconstrued the Young Offenders Act. Read Key Issues and Conclusions and let us know what you think.

 


Comments Made by Participants


09 Apr 1999

Please feel free to identify your own key issues and conclusions.

Stephen Biss


12 Apr 1999

I have a concern with the proposed changes to the YOA and hope these will affect our Aboriginal youth offenders. Are the changes discriminatory in that the consequences will be much harsher on Aboriginal youth? The reality of the criminal activity among this part of society is evident, will the new changes help to further increase the sense of hopelessness these people feel with the criminal justice system? Any comments are appreciated.


14 Apr 1999

I believe that lawyers and judges are not trained adequately to deal with the complex issues surrounding youth. I do not believe the age should be lowered to ten years of age, this will encourage parents to use the system as a babysitter creating more back log and delays that already dangerously exist. More kids will fall through the cracks not less. I think the statistics surrounding aboriginal youth in the legal system is staggering and perhaps we need to look at reasons why this is occurring. We are all supposed to be equal under the law, but discrimination is epidemic. Children with learning disabilities account for 50-80% of all young offenders, so why is this not addresses more completely in the young offenders act. When these children become adults, they, and rightfully so, are angry and hostile because the system, all systems have let them down. The young offenders act needs to set more specific guidelines in regards to addressing these issues.

Have a nice day.


21 Apr 1999

their is a debate in my class and I'm just wondering if you could help me on defending the Young Offenders Act like for it and stuff thanks.

Student of the Northern Secondary School in Sturgeon Falls


21 Apr 1999

Can anyone tell me if sect.43 of the criminal code has been repealed and why if it is why is it not being enforced? Also can anyone tell me what impact the UN Declaration for the Rights of Children should have on our own justice system? thanks


22 Apr 1999

Section 43 of the Criminal Code "Correction of Child by Force" remains in full force and effect. It is part of the criminal law of Canada.

43. Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.

Stephen Biss


24 Apr 1999

IF YOU TAKE A LIFE THEN YOU GOT A GIVE A LIFE.


25 Apr 1999

Thank you for telling me about that Stephen because I had an anti-corporal punishment campaign started but a certain government employee tried to tell me that this section had already been squashed. I won't give up the fight. For any parents who may have children with learning disabilities who are in trouble with the law , the learning disabilities association of Canada has some excellent information able. Even if your child is not committing crimes yet, it may be critical for you to read their information. It is also interesting to note that more children are being sentenced to closed custody than ever and the recidivism rate continues to climb upwards. Why are not educational assessments made on children as well as mental assessments? Written waivers being obtained from children with learning disabled in trouble with the law has serious and negative ramifications especially considering up to 70% of children in trouble with the law have ld. As for publishing names, listen, many of these kids are crying for attention, would this not be giving them the wrong type of attention? As for lowering the age, how can you expect them to use appropriate judgment considering the difficulties that the child is already facing in learning something that reaches far beyond the school)?


26 Apr 1999

I think that the parents should not have to pay for the damages caused by their children because they are not the ones who committed the crimes.


26 Apr 1999

Parents should be held responsible if for example the parents have neglected the child by not being involved in the youths life. I think that this shooting in the Colorado raises some issues in regards to responsibility considering no one took action while being aware of the possible connections with violence these children had. Or were they unaware or just apathetic? What is the price we must pay for not getting involved?


26 Apr 1999

C'EST LA VIE!!


26 Apr 1999

I feel that society today should be aware of what is going on in the community. The first way to do this is to publicize the young offenders name. This way everyone will be aware if he/she is dangerous or any other reason. Secondly I feel if the Parents are going to except responsibility for their child they must be ready to pay the price. If parents are going to take their child home, instead of being in jail the parents must set a good example and push the rules that must be followed in the house. Their are several more area's which are extremely important an need to be discussed. Cher


27 Apr 1999

I was wondering, what anyone thinks of the bill being proposed by MN Rep.Peg Larsan.it states that first or second time juvenile offenders, should have to spend a weekend at camp ripley. what is your input on that?


27 Apr 1999

I'm interested in opinions on how to handle young offenders. If anyone could give me any insight on this it would be greatly appreciated.


28 Apr 1999

I am not sure what kind of camp this is, but boot camps statistically do not work. However, I like the idea of outreach programs that may expose children to otherwise inaccessible resources, such as nature. There is a great deal of personal satisfaction in climbing a mountain and breathing something besides smog. It provides a positive challenge. So I feel as a prevention yes camps would work. As a rehabilitation and consequence it would not. Young offenders have special needs that need to be addressed and this is done best through involvement in the community with accountability being given prime importance.


28 Apr 1999

I think what the public at large fails to understand is that the YOA is an act that really works-- repeat offenders are rare, and it's only a few bad apples that make all kids out to be evil; especially when this image is propagated by the media. Youth crime statistics are down, and despite the school violence shown by the media, school violence is at its lowest point in a decade. Regarding publishing the young offender's name; that is ludicrous. A kid, charged with sexual assault for example: is he a sex fiend? Probably not. Did he make a mistake? Yes. Should his name be forever tainted because of a mistake he made in his youth? Can all you adults say that you were fully mature and made no mistakes when you were kids? I don't think so. I don't think kids should be tried in adult court. Kids can't comprehend what their rights are, therefore should they be responsible for the weight they bear? I don't think kids my age understand their rights fully (I'm a senior in high school) Hell, most adults don't! Our charter of rights and freedoms guarantees us the right to make a full answer to the charges laid against us. If you don't understand what you've done, why they are wrong, and what rights of YOURS are being violated, then you can't make a full answer to the charge. Therefore, that would "bring the administration of justice into disrepute" and therefore every trial of a child in adult court would inadmissible and unjust.

I hope you can substantiate or refute my claims, Mr. Biss. Great site! Emily


28 Apr 1999

The Young Offenders act was really a well thought out law that had many unseen ramifications but really turns out to be a worthwhile law unlike half the other laws the governments churn out


29 Apr 1999

Actually Emily the recidivism rates are quite high especially when a young person is sentenced to close custody. Youth justice systems have an 87% success rate which is by far greater then what happens in a courtroom. The YOA is not about prevention or reason but about punishment. And it shows in the high recidivism rates. One reason the statistics for crime have gone down recently is due to an aging population. Here are some statistics Emily: the recidivism rate for graduates of Ontario closed custody facilities is estimated to between 75-85% the number of females charged with violent crimes has risen 300%, all violent crimes has risen 150% I have more....but it gets depressing to go through all the sad statistics I do not agree with youth in adult court because of how randomly it is used and under whose say is this decided upon. The victims? What about the victims?


30 Apr 1999

I believe that the government has know idea what it is like to be a youth in society today. There are know problems with the Young Offenders Act, in fact I believe Canada has benefited greatly from the implementations of this act and will continue to. Everyone always blames youth. The government needs to realize the problems youth and their families face today. There will always be kids who violate the law and "slip trough the cracks" by all means the answer is not to toughen the "YOA" the government needs to look at its funding and focus its money on effectively correcting youth (therapy, counseling etc) instead of dumping money into housing or committing youth offenders to foster homes and detention centres. All actions taken by the government effect society so maybe Mike Harris should get his facts straight and realize his unresearched, stereotypical comments in the Toronto Star about Ontario's youth is Bogus. The government has put society where it is today, every decision feeds off each other so maybe the government needs to focus their time and efforts on more productive issues, like why society is the way it is today and how to improve Ontario and Canada on a grand scale. There are good kids out there and I am one of them so Harris, kiss my vote good-bye and thousands of others!

Lakefield, Ontario - a 18 year olds opinion.


03 May 1999

I don't think that anyone really knows how to solve the problems that exist in the YOA. I believe that everyone deserves a chance, but at the same time, we all control our own minds, so who is the scapegoat? I also think that the media has made teens out to be worse than they are. If you see an elderly person after dark, they appear to be scared of you. So how does publishing YO names going to help deplete the fear that society already feels?

Alexandra,20


05 May 1999

I know the media sensationalizes every thing tragic that comes up, but I am really interested in what other people think about bullying in general and about the two shootings? Do you think more could be done legally to prevent these things from happening, and what should our plan of action be from here?


08 May 1999

Why aren't young offenders more accountable to the community and victims?


11 May 1999

I believe that young persons who break the law must face the consequences, depending on the severity of their crime.

If their crime has imposed on another person, then it is severe enough to warrant tough measures. Victims have rights too, regardless of the age of the perpetrator!

An adult crime should be dealt with in an adult manner.

I also believe that parents have a responsibility to society (I speak as a parent). The YOA should include a provision to charge parents for crimes that children commit. A financial penalty (a meaningful one) will make parents think twice.

All parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children are kept out of trouble. If you introduce a child into the world, you have to accept what goes with the child.

If an adult buys a car and then ploughs through pedestrians at a bus stop, the driver will be charged and face legal proceedings. The same rule should apply for parents of children.

Put bite into the YOA. Make it meaningful. We need to make Canada a better place for our children and theirs. Don't let a few bad apples spoil this wonderful country of ours.


17 May 1999

The writer above has stated a number of points and I reply as follows:

"I believe that young persons who break the law must face the consequences, depending on the severity of their crime. " It was for precisely this purpose that in 1984, the Canadian Parliament put into force the Young Offenders Act to replace the Juvenile Delinquents Act of 1908. It is an important principle of Canadian sentencing law, YOA included, that a sentence must fit the crime.

"Victims have rights too, regardless of the age of the perpetrator!" That is true in both adult Court and Youth Court. However, in Canada, an individual is prosecuted in the name of Her Majesty the Queen, not the victim. Her Majesty is represented by the Crown Attorney who owes a duty to all the people of Canada to see that justice is done and done fairly as Her Majesty would have it done in a constitutional democracy.

"An adult crime should be dealt with in an adult manner." What is an adult crime? Young persons face exactly the same criminal offences as adults already. The law of assault, sexual assault, theft, and all the rest is the same for adults and young persons. In Canadian law discretion is left to the police, the Crown, and the Judge. Each have a different role to play in how a matter is dealt with. Theft of a bicycle from a garage will be dealt with differently than theft of merchandise from an employer because that discretion is appropriately applied. That flexibility is available under both the Criminal Code and the Young Offenders Act. Transfer into adult Court should depend upon proper use of that discretion where circumstances warrant, not because of a silly slogan like "adult crime deserves adult time". The important consideration in the drafting of a statute such as the YOA or the Youth Criminal Justice Act is that appropriate jurisdiction is available to have matters transferred to adult court where that is appropriate. The YOA and the YCJA do that.

"I also believe that parents have a responsibility to society (I speak as a parent). The YOA should include a provision to charge parents for crimes that children commit. A financial penalty (a meaningful one) will make parents think twice". When you say charge do you mean charge in criminal law? In our British system crimes are committed willfully or recklessly, there is always a "mens rea" or criminal intent to a crime. What would be the level of criminal intent required for a parent in such circumstances? Or would this be a crime of absolute liability?

Perhaps you mean civil responsibility such as in Manitoba. That is a provincial issue and has nothing to do with the YOA or the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Speak to your provincial politicians about that one. I have no difficulty with the concept if liability relates to proven negligence on the part of the parent.

"All parents have a responsibility to ensure that their children are kept out of trouble. If you introduce a child into the world, you have to accept what goes with the child." But isn't a young person a "person"? Shouldn't young persons be responsible for their own actions? A number of years ago women were not considered "persons". They could not own property and it was their husbands who were held responsible for their actions. Should we return to that kind of system? Will lessening the personal responsibility of youth help them become better citizens?

"Put bite into the YOA. Make it meaningful." It already is. The problem is that a few "bad apple" politicians have damaged the effectiveness of the YOA and criminal law in general by announcing that it isn't. They malign the Youth justice system for their own political purposes. It attracts media attention and sells burglary alarms. It also results in the attitude among some young persons that they are immune to prosecution or that consequences are insignificant. Your politicians aren't telling you the truth. Young persons do go to real jail for their crimes. They appear in front of the same Judges, are prosecuted by the same Crowns, and in the same courthouses as adults. The detention institutions such as Metro West, Mimico, and Maplehurst in my area of Ontario are the same as where adults are held. Spend some time in Youth Court or in a Youth jail with its bars, plastic, foul smelling paint, crumbling walls, and limited resources. Youth crime in Canada already results in far to much warehousing of youth without effective rehabilitation. We need better programs but the basic structure of the criminal law is as it should be. We have caring and competent Judges, Crowns, and probation officers in Canada who work with very limited resources. Let's support them, not brand them as incompetent. Let's not take away their discretion.

Stephen Biss


23 May 1999

In my small town we have at least 7 repeat chronic young offenders these individuals are not currently being helped or guided in anyway with the current systems that are in place. I feel that something must be done to create tougher enforcement of chronic repeat young offenders. These individuals in my town laugh at the justice system this tells me that these repeat offenders do not see any punishment by the law for anything that they may do. There have been several attempts to guide these youths by activities, social work, community events community service hours nothing works, TOUGH LOVE is the only thing that will create a lasting impression with chronic repeat offenders. Some cadet camp with very strict rules and one that they are not allowed to leave would be my suggestion until there sentence is done, this is my suggestion for the current system does not work.


3 Jun 1999

I BELIEVE THAT THE YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT SHOULD ONLY BE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED A SMALL CRIME SUCH AS THEFT, NON-SERIOUS TERM OF ASSAULT, ETC.. OTHERS SHOULD BE TRIED IN ADULT COURT FOR CRIMES SUCH AS RAPE, MURDER, AND BREAKING AND ENTERING, ETC. I FEEL AS IF THE YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT COVERS TOO MUCH FOR THOSE WHO NEED TO BE EXPOSED TO THE PUBLIC.


30 Jun 1999

I do not believe at all that children should be tried as adults, because, frankly, they are not adults. Their development, is that of a child and punishing them at a level higher than what they can relate to with the consequences of their act will surely defeat the purpose of rehabilitation. A child must be dealt with at a level that is on the same level of his/her development or justice is not really served because they can not comprehend the reasons.


23 Jul 1999

I have to agree that the YOA was fine and didn't require any changes. I think it is a political move to appease the public and garner votes, and has nothing to do with improving juvenile delinquency or act as a deterrent to crime.


27 Jul 1999

Biss hell of a page, it helped me realize this complicated issue.


28 Jul 1999

YOU DO THE CRIME YOU PAY THE TIME


29 Jul 1999

APR 29

Parents should be responsible for their children. The kids need attention that's all.


20 Sep 1999

I am very involved with the present legislation they are trying to put forth, Bill C-68 (Youth Criminal Justice Act). In an attempt to lower the ages of yo's to be tried as adults, automatic transfers to adult courts for first and second degree murder, manslaughter and sexual assault cases, etc., our society really supports applying more punitive and deterrent like measures to ensure these kids learn their lesson. When are people in this world going to realize that locking up those who break the law, be it adolescents or adults, simply does not work? The construction of more prisons results in a higher demand of more prisoners. Warehousing is what really goes on inside prison. If people even believe prisoners are being rehabilitated, that is a joke. Our children are already being "maltreated" with the Young Offenders Act. We certainly do not need all that money invested in a new legislation that will bring forth more problems. If need be, we can work with the existing YOA and re-structure it to apply it in a such a way to make it more efficient and workable for our adolescents. In my view, it is not fair to judge a person for the worst act they have ever committed. Due to labels and judgments that are put on a young offender/adult through media coverage and our politicians, our society rejects to admit the remote possibility that there can be some good in a person who commits a crime. This is unfortunate because it does not allow one to see a problem in its entity. Please answer back, providing comments regarding the new legislation.


20 Sep 1999

I am very involved with the present legislation they are trying to put forth, Bill C-68 (Youth Criminal Justice Act). In an attempt to lower the ages of yo's to be tried as adults, automatic transfers to adult courts for first and second degree murder, manslaughter and sexual assault cases, etc., our society really supports applying more punitive and deterrent like measures to ensure these kids learn their lesson. When are people in this world going to realize that locking up those who break the law, be it adolescents or adults, simply does not work? The construction of more prisons results in a higher demand of more prisoners. Warehousing is what really goes on inside prison. If people even believe prisoners are being rehabilitated, that is a joke. Our children are already being "maltreated" with the Young Offenders Act. We certainly do not need all that money invested in a new legislation that will bring forth more problems. If need be, we can work with the existing YOA and re-structure it to apply it in a such a way to make it more efficient and workable for our adolescents. In my view, it is not fair to judge a person for the worst act they have ever committed. Due to labels and judgments that are put on a young offender/adult through media coverage and our politicians, our society rejects to admit the remote possibility that there can be some good in a person who commits a crime. This is unfortunate because it does not allow one to see a problem in its entity. Please answer back, providing comments regarding the new legislation.


27 Sep 1999

Sept. 27th, 1999

People are so quick to blame the parents, that they are not home to look after these young people. Most parents have to work 24-7 never mind shift work, just to stay off welfare. Give these kids tougher laws. Have a Young Offenders Prison. There has to be an old jail or prison they can use. Even Boot Camp, that last for 3-5yrs. They can get an education, or learn a trade. They have to know that there will be harsh punishment for harsh crimes. The Young Offender Act is a free ticket to do what ever crime they chose. They would need counseling to understand why they are doing these crimes and how to control themselves. Thank you.....


06 Oct 1999

1) Is the name "Young Offenders Act" a mistake? Personally, I don't think so. But, I think we should be asking the " young people" how they feel and what they think is a good name. Young Offenders sounds better than Juvenile Delinquents. Their thoughts should be considered in how to "help" them.

2) I think what these kids need isn't harsher punishment, but the right counseling. Most of them crave attention, so we should be giving it to them in a way that also helps them. Yes I believe they should still be punished, but I think we need to have heart to heart conversations with them (something they may not be getting at home) on how to help them "become a better person". They need to know that people CARE and want to HELP! Most of them do want to change, but don't want to look "wussy". Trust me, I have family who are in these positions, and I personally want to help.

Opinions from an 18 yr old who plans to study criminology, and specialize with young offenders.


20 Oct 1999

As a former young offender, who is now enrolled in law and security at college, I have first hand knowledge that teens do understand. It is the adults that do not. It is the adults that give them the benefit of the doubt that they really "did not mean what they did'. It is the adults that believe the line "I really did not under- stand." What you see is what you get. Children are taught by adults. What do teachers do? Teach. Criminals commit crime. Someone had to start the crime. More than likely it was an adult. Cain and Abel anyone? Children learn from what they see. Young offenders are teenagers. They do understand. Most want the thrill of doing something wrong. For attention? Mostly. For greed? Mostly. What ever happened to the Divine Will? Instead we follow the internet where crime is posted right in front of their tiny faces and wide eyes. They do understand. I did.


15 Nov 1999

Juvenile offenders have no idea what the consequences of their actions are until it hits them, they are not well educated in the judicial system, and that is no surprise considering the average American isn't fully aware of his/her rights, juveniles need a chance to learn from their mistakes and be guided towards the right path, not locked up with bubba and his  buddies and taught to survive on the streets by being the top pimp, drug lord, or assasign.


18 Nov 1999

I'm doing a debate on whether children should or should not be tried as an adult for committing murder. I think that children should not be tried as an adult. What do you think about this issue?


13 Dec 1999

What is the actual definition of the YOA? what does it mean and how would u explain it? Also do you know how the YOA is dealt with elsewhere?


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8/11/00

can you give me any info. as to whether or not a 9 year old committing suicide in 1997is considered a crime in B.C.


8/26/00

Canada's Youung Offenders Act sucks! They should try more people who commit a murder in adult court. What happened to Clayton McGloan in 1998 was so harsh, and what happened to Jonathan Wamback in 1999 was also so bad. They should really do something with it.


10/18/2000

I feel all to often young audlts commit crimes that they should be held responsible for. If you take someones life in a cruel planned 1st degree murder kind of way you should inturn give your own up."An eye for an eye."

Tiffany from Lethbridge Community College


11/6/2000

Hi.I am a young person from Canada.I think young people should be tried as adultsHavn't we all been taught right from wrong since we were little! I also think it should be taken into concideration the type of home,family,relationships,and care the young person has had in his or her past as well! Some young people grow up beleiveing what is wrong is really right! In that case i beleive that the child needs help from a proffesional! With a little love we can change tomorrow!


11/7/2000

I am a 17 year old youth from P-Ville in BC. I can tell you first hand that the YOA doesn't work. It gives lenient sentences to little criminals who have nothing better to do than cause trouble in town. I'm sorry I can't believe some of these people want the parents to pay fines for their deliquent children. Sometimes the kid is just a moron, without the parents help. Though parents do have a degree of responsibilty, what happens when the good girl gets pregnant? The parents should have taken care of her but they didn't. What should be done with them? I believe murder is murder no matter the age of the sick person who comitted it. But what would I know, I'm just one of those youths that has no opinion.


11/28/2000

In regards to point 11 of your aguement, 10 year old kids and even younger do, in fact undrstand the legalities of their actions, and know what it is their doing and geting away with. Or perhaps you have never heard of the eleven year old boy who raped and killed a thriteen year old girl and when the police took him into custody, the youth was smuge and replied "I'm not old enough, you can't touch me, you can't even charge me." a very stupid idea if you think kids as old as ten don't know what their doing as wrong or that they just don't know right from wrong and can't formulate the idea.


12/12/2000

thanks for the info, it was helpful


12/13/2000

their is a debate in my class and I'm just wondering if you could help me on defending the Young Offenders Act like for it and stuff thanks Cameron

A student at Centennial School in Coquitlam BC


1/13/2001

As a youth myself between the ages of 14-17, I firmly believe that the youths would not stop from committing crimes repeatedly until harsh punishment or consequence of their abhorent behaviours is reinforced.

Youths will only ridicule the current soft and easy system, and would(and obviously DO) take advantage of it. They do whatever they please, and nothing happens to them. So what if they get community service? They care not!

The system is spoiling our children,and is believe it or not, actually incouraging the youths to repeat their "mistakes"(because we are not going to really punish them!).

Another thing, is that if a 15 year old teen dislikes a school outcast, and decided to take a gun and shoot at the outcast; I think the offender KNOWS he was doing something wrong. So, to say that the young person is not at a certain level of development and maturity to realize their "mistakes" is a bunch of nonsense!!!

In what circumstances what a teen most likely commit a crime? The teen gets "treatment" and "guidence" as a consequence. OR The teen spends 5 years in jail and 2 years after that on probation.

Teens know a lot more nowadays, don't expect them to be as innocent as they were 10 or 20 years ago. Teens have changed, their sanity has changed. Most importantly, IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE!


1/13/2001

By the way, any thoughts or comments are welcomed. The last entry was sumbitted by P.


1/18/2001

The young people who are growing up aroung us are doing so without any reasonable guidance from their parents, For the most part they are underage and are left alone for days on end and in general behave like like doped up junkies without any consideration or respect for the neighbours. They drink, smoke and share weeds openly. They hold regular parties with 20 to 30 kids in attedance and all of this without supervision. Some of the kids are in about 6 different driveways and some urinate in the street while the police drive through them and take no action. Some of the kids take short cuts every day through neighbours property in spite of security fences. The parent when confronted says it is not her kid even though they have been seen. There are different cars in the driveway overnight and after one particular car visits there are several different cars for a few minute and even kids show up for a few minites on bycicles. The activities are easy to read but if the police are called the activity is finished so there is nothing they ca do. Most of my neighbours are not directly affected by all of this activity so although they sympathise, do nothing. In spite of the law i identify these idiots to all of my friends and neighbours and as they grow older and settle in the community; i will never accept them and i will never feel safe with them around. THE YOUNG OFFENDERS ACT----STINKS. tHE PUBLIC AT LARGE SHOULD START A FUND TO COMBAT EACH AND EVERY CASE SO THAT THE OFFENDERS CAN BE IDENTIFIED OFFICIALLY. It has been said the kids do not know their rights but believe me they do. One kid stands occross the road at a stratigic point and when he sees police or public security, all activity stops untill they have passed. Some of the people commenting should live at my house for a little while and the lets see if they feel the same. I have had to install all methods of security i can afford so that we can go to bed at a reasoable hour rather than sit up untill all activity seems to be finished. KANALSJO.


2/6/2001

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2/26/2001

You're an idiot, maybe you should read up more on the Young Offenders Act. It doesn't deal with the difference of punishment, it deals with protected rights and easier sentencing, not different sentencing. I'm only a law student in highschool and it seems you know shit compared to my class


3/7/2001

I am a teen and i know well enough what is right from whats wrong! I certainly think that in this day and age teens are mature and responable enough to know whether the choices they make are right or wrong! If they choose wrong, they understand the concequences, just as well as i do!! For History i have decided to do my project on the Young Offenders Act and the changes that they will hopefully undergo, i am 100% for the changes! It's not a stiff enough pentality now for young offenders!! I know pently of people who have committed serious crimes with no fear of Juvinile Hall or other insititions that they may go to!!! What does that tell you? Plus in 5 years their record will be cleaned... sheeze, i could go out, validize thing, ect. and in 5 years be a cleaned slate, people unknowning of my past or crimes i committed. It's one thing in this life that i learn is that you own up to everything you do, why should people get away with stuff like that! I can understand that some people may "rebel" durning their teen years but I think that it's important for teens to understand that if you do something wrong you will be punished, to me, that sounds like a good reason not to do something....


3/8/2001

The Young Offeders Act, if anything is the "best" (if you will) at present. No model is perfect especially the proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act. I feel this way because the very title assumes that youth today are would-be criminals. Another reason that the YCJA is not perfect is that it will allow for 14 yr. old adolescents to face adult sentences, which results in having their name published. The government is not approaching youth offending properly in that the government seeks more punitive measures, longer dispositions, and will not attempt to change or work with the present youth legislation.


3/8/2001

With respect to the YOA. By simply saying that an individual is getting off easy because their record is cleared after fives is not only ignorant, but it says the youth are not entitled to second chance(s). Everyone has potential to change, it depends on whether one "wants" to change. The protections under any act in the Canadian justice system are important based on people who support vigilanty justice. Not to mention the fact that one need not to have their name slandered by the press. If people of Canada are interested in change, they should not support "get tough" legislation because it does not work. One must delve in to the heart of the information and not accept the headlines in the newspaper before deciding on what is truth and what is put on paper for mere purposes of selling something. People must go beyond the press, it will only takes a few minutes out of your life. One more thing everyone's opinion counts but it is informed? Thank You.


3/12/2001

In consideration of proposed legislation to replace the YOA there is a blatant fact that is perhaps being missed. There has been a social outcry from citizens as to the stance of Canada's legislation with respect to young offenders. This social outcry is in response to the fact that many see our current policies as ineffective. In many situations, the current YOA is effective for those youths who are committing misdemeanors such as shoplifting or vandalism. In response to these crimes, the YOA is capable and effective in its use of treatments such as the alternative measures programs, restitution, and community rehabilitative measures. However, the issue that the YOA finds itself under the majority of fire for is its treatment of serious offenders. It is the classification of offenders from 14 and up that the YOA shields, and wrongly so. The original aim of the YOA was to protect those youths who either did not understand the ramifications of their actions, or were troubled individuals in need of rehabilitation as opposed to custody. The main highlight of the proposed Youth Criminal Justice Act resides in the ability to prosecute as adults those serious offenders who are mentally cognizant of their crimes and should not be shielded under the guise of the current YOA.


3/20/2001

i believe that the age should be changed to 14 and up to adult because they know that the hell they are doing and its crap if they they say they dont preeti


3/24/2001

I'm a student debating that young offenders should be tried in adult court. If anyone has any good points defending that statement could you please e-mail them to me? cltgurl@hotmail.com


4/27/2001

In conclusion '14' you said that charges aren't erased by age 18 basically and I wonder how long it is before a pardon can be issued. Please let me know. Chubybgu@Hotmail.com Thanx...


5/17/2001

I believe that, if people over 12, wish to be considered as mature and contibuting adults, they can be considered as scuh. If people are old enough to commit a crime, they must surely be old enough to accept the consequences. Even if a person is called "young", that person will, even so, know the difference between right and wrong. Most people have known the difference between right and wrong since they were very young, and if they had not, would have met many people who do, and would be willing to share their ideas. Therefore, having the Young Offendors Act does no good, only causes younger people to think that, because of their age, can get away with many things.


5/17/2001

By the way, the last entry was written by a 13-year-old student doing a debate on whether only children under 13 should be protected by the Young Offendors Act (I'm affirmative).


5/19/2001

I have worked with young offenders for the past 17 years.I don't think that the name is the problem.The fact that these young people continue to repeat or think that being in custody is like going to camp. The young offender comes in and has the right to decide what they are going to do and what they are not going to participate in. Someone with alcohol problems or anger problems, sould recieve help, but their rights allows them to avoid their problems. Perhaps if these rights where taken away and they where forced to deal with some their concerns that lead them to braking the law, it would make a difference. Another problem that comes to mind is, we can do as much cognitive work with these kids but, how nuch of this is for nothing when the young person goes back to an unstable enviornment? Sometimes the parents need more work than the child.


5/24/2001

I think if your under 18 and you haven't murdered someone you should go to not go to adult court.


7/5/2001

I think this is a great web site. I am doing a seminar is school and a 6 page essay on the Young Offenders Act. Thanks for the help! 


7/15/2001

There is very little support for parents in our society today. The majority of parents love their children and would not want to see any harm come to them, for instance, being arrested, going to court, not knowing what "legal rights" means. Children are children until age 18 (some mature more slowly). Where do loving parents fit in, when it comes to the legal system? How can they help their children? More information is needed addressing the needs of the parents who want to help their children.


9/29/2001

Yes, there is very little support for parents this day. As a parent, I have tried everything to get through to my son. He lives in a Christian home with very strict rules and discipline and is a repeat offender before the age of 14. We are lost and do not know where to turn. One comment suggests that parents should pay the price for the child(ren)'s actions. Did you know that when talking to duty counsel at the courts, the parent is not allowed in the room as what the counsel and child discuss is confidential? To me, that does not add up. I should pay for what my child does, yet am not allowed to discuss what the punishment should or should not be as my child's life is confidential. I believe that I know my child better than the courts do. The alternative measures program in my case was a joke. My son had to provide 12 hours of community service at an old age home. The novelty did not wear off until approximately 11 1/2 hours, so where was the punishment? I suggested cleaning toilets with a tooth brush in a local jail for 40 hours and was laughed at. He also was to attend an anger management course. The course was to be 4 classes which were cancelled and sometimes resceduled because parents did not enforce their child to go. It ended with my son attending 1 class and 1 one on one lecture. The final part of his punishment was to write a letter of apology and deliver it in person. This letter was written, but never delivered. As a parent, one of the first lessons I learned was that you follow through on the punishment that you have stated. I have done this since the day I had my child. The system has failed my child in this respect. Once again, my son breaks the law, not even a year after the first time. This time he gets probation for 8 months. One of the stipulations is that he is to obey the rules at home. I kept a daily log of his behaviour and provided this log to the probation officer. The log had entries of when my son behaved and when he misbehaved. Misbehaviour included things like mouthing me off when asked to make his bed or clean his room, stealing from me, lying, etc. All the probation officer did was say that my son did not belong in the system. The fact that he was breaking the rules of his probation order never came into play. Now, here I am again. Booking holidays to go to court with my son for another crime he has committed and he isn't even done the probation for the last offence. I am already paying. My heart is broken because I have this beautiful child that is throwing away his life. My family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, siblings) are all paying in this respect. How much more should we pay. I found this web site as I am investigating boot camps in southern Ontario. We are lost and do not know where to turn. Rather than punishing the parents, support them. We are usually just as much the victim as the person that the crime was committed against. I want help for my son and others want to punish me. Where's the sense in that?

Lost and don't know where to turn in southern ontario.


10/5/2001

Juvenile Justice is a big Issue just about everywhere and needs to be delt with


11/19/2001

I FEEL THAT NOT EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT COMMON OFFENSES AND THE PUNISHMENT. I THINK THAT IT SHOULD BE ADVERTIZED ON TV ABOUT THE CONSEQUENSES OF SAY, SHOP LIFTING. I AM SURE MOST PEOPLE DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT COULD HAPPEN SPECIALLY THE MIGRANTS. I DID NOT AND AM PAYING FOR IT.


1/8/2002

KILL WHITIEY!!!!!!!! SUP 4:20


1/8/2002

KILL WHITIEY ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!! SUP 4:20


1/11/2002

why don't you go bum your crack addict friends you fagget.


3/5/2002


3/11/2002


3/11/2002

I think that Young Offenders Act is wrong,kids have way to much to deal with in there nervous and wondering minds to worry about getting hard time for a once in a life time mistake.kids need to find out what they are not sitting or waisting away in some prison just getting more more mad at the world and maybe even become a terrorist or satanic murderer.


4/12/2002

This site helped me a lot. I have to do a debate in grade 11 Law to not change the young offenders act. If anyone has any helpful information you can e-mail me at aley65@hotmail.com.


4/20/2002


4/23/2002

Hello there, I am a grade 8 student and I am doing an essay on the young offenders act and where or not they should have there names puplished in the media. In a way I am for it but then again I am also not so, anyone who is reading this, I would really appriciate it if they could send me some good points on whether or not they should have their names in the media or not you can send me this at brunette_babe52@hotmail.com, thankxz and have a great day!


4/30/2002

I FEEL THAT IF A MINOR IS CAUGHT DOING A CRIME THAN THERE NAME SHOULD BE PUBLISHED IN THE MEDIA SO THAT THE BUISNESS OWNERS CAN BE AWARE OF THE DELIQUENTS IN THERE NEIGHBORHOODS. THANKS


5/2/2002

hi


5/2/2002

i feel taht young offendors should be treated as adults do you agree with me? why? i need some good points for my arguments.


6/6/2002

I feel that the age limit of the young offenders act should not be lowerd seeing how their brains have not machured sufficiently to truely understand what the have done. If you look at the subject in another way, you would think well a youth, is not aloud to drive a car until they are at least 16, why? because by the time they have reached that age, thay at least have some abuility to tell the difference between right and wrong


7/31/2002

Not until one has dealt with the ineffectiveness of our justice system do they realize how bad it is. Tragically, my son was killed by a sixteen year old who had no qualms about concealing and using a large meat knife. A sixteen year old who had only been out of custody three weeks. His history,his psychiatric assessment, his violence while in custody were never heard in court. He did not take the stand.A fast talking lawyer got him off. Within thirty days of walking away from Alberta, he was again in front of a judge and eventually returned to jail for assault and weapon charges. He is a danger to society. He killed my son and my son again became the victim and we were victims at the hands of the court. Take the politics out of the system. If they do the crime, then give them the time. I have no repect left for the justice system after having travelled the personal journey and seen what a farce it is. The only ones who too often benefit are the defense lawyers. I don't know how they sleep at night. The defense lawyer in our situation admitted to us that he knew this kid was guilty but he was 'doing his job'. Justice is centred in the best oration and manipulation of the facts to convince the unknowing pawn in the system, the jury. It has to change. No one wants to live this hell.


9/11/2002

Did any of you actually know Clayton McGloan?? I did. I went to school with him and he was one hell of a guy. One hell of a guy whose light was extinguished by three little bastards that didn't walk away when they had the chance. They're sorry all right........sorry they have to do jail time, that is. We all miss that awesome guy, the guy that we would surely have spent more time with if we knew that November 3, 1998 would be his last day on this Earth. And as for his murderers, I wish Clayton had gotten the four years that his killers walked away with. Comments can be e-mailed to jenniferthorton@hotmail.com Subject: Clayton Thanx!


9/23/2002

Depending on the issue of the act cases such as:

1. Sexual Assault 2. Breaken Entering

If a child is 12-years old and has been charged with "Sexual Assault" should this "young Offender" be Charged and tried as a Adult. Knowing the Child is innocent and has all prove to prove of his/hers innocence but, has not yet started trial. What do the parents do of such acusations when the child has already been charged of "Sexual Assault." Why I ask is this is happening to my little boy as I write. What are his rights, can I sue, for false acusations, Plus I have lost my job, have been asked to leave the malls, stores and also my little boy is coming home beat-up all the time. His also being called a " Child F----R and plays with little boys/girls private parts. I seriously think their is something wrong with the Justice system, no doubt in my mind. How can they charge him by hear say first of all,that's like me calling the police to say, " My little boy has just been Sexually Assaulted by my friends son." Waht Ok, they come down to investigate, which I have no problem with to find the facts and so on. Then leave my home to go over to the friends house I said, This had happened. The next thingyou know my friends little boy is arrested without any more questions. For say," are you Name and last name, " the little boy replies back, "YES" I am. OK you have to come with me your under arrest for "Sexial Assault" thenreeds him his roghts and takes him to te police station for more questioning. I myself don't think that is right for the Police to have the right to do" Arrest" first then ask the questions later. That's Bull- Shit" excuse the phrase Please" Like I said where is the justice in this. Why can't the Police come to your home ask the questions or even say." The police have been called, cause it was brought to our attenion that your son/daughter my have been involved in a case of "Sexual Assault." I don't understand howthey can treat the child like he/she are some kind of wild animal right from the start. what I am saying. I am a mother that teaches and tries like the rest of parents Or for that matters a Humam Being to teach right from wrong. I am saying this is my case as I speak like I said, earlier. I lost my job, most of allthey have taken my sons life away from him already at the age of 12 years old and what digity he has left all because the other parties involved are going trough hard times and in need of money like the parties have said to me to my face with no witnesses,' WE did this cause we know we can get VICTIMS COMP." Your son is ADHD and we know that you have had problms with him and what better child to blame his on but, yours. Now you Know why I am so Hasty, aand mad, up-set.etc. Wouldn't you be if this was your Child because he has a disorder. Sincerely, Hoping to find any help and more information that will help my Family of such a Horrific Crime, Knowing my son was with me when this acusations were brought to my attention and knowing the other parties involved know this as well


9/23/2002

Depending on the issue of the act cases such as:

1. Sexual Assault 2. Breaken Entering

If a child is 12-years old and has been charged with "Sexual Assault" should this "young Offender" be Charged and tried as a Adult. Knowing the Child is innocent and has all prove to prove of his/hers innocence but, has not yet started trial. What do the parents do of such accusations when the child has already been charged of "Sexual Assault." Why I ask is this is happening to my little boy as I write. What are his rights, can I sue, for false acusations, Plus I have lost my job, have been asked to leave the malls, stores and also my little boy is coming home beat-up all the time. His also being called a " Child F----R and plays with little boys/girls private parts. I seriously think their is something wrong with the Justice system, no doubt in my mind. How can they charge him by hear say first of all,that's like me calling the police to say, " My little boy has just been Sexually Assaulted by my friends son." What Ok, they come down to investigate, which I have no problem with to find the facts and so on. Then leave my home to go over to the friends house I said, This had happened. The next thing you know my friends little boy is arrested without any more questions. For say," are you Name and last name, " the little boy replies back, "YES" I am. OK you have to come with me your under arrest for "Sexual Assault" then reeds him his rights and takes him to te police station for more questioning. I myself don't think that is right for the Police to have the right to do" Arrest" first then ask the questions later. That's Bull- Shit" excuse the phrase Please" Like I said," where is the justice in this. Why can't the Police come to your home ask the questions or even say." The police have been called, cause it was brought to our attenion that your son/daughter may have been involved in a case of "Sexual Assault." I don't understand how they can treat the child like he/she are some kind of wild animal right from the start. what I am saying. I am a mother that teaches and tries like the rest of parents Or for that matters a Humam Being to teach right from wrong. I am saying this is my case as I speak like I said, earlier. I lost my job, most of all they have taken my sons life away from him already at the age of 12 years old and what digity he has left all because the other parties involved are going trough hard times and in need of money like the parties have said to me to my face with no witnesses,' WE did this cause we know we can get VICTIMS COMP." Your son is ADHD and we know that you have had problms with him and what better child to blame this on but, yours. Now you Know why I am so Hasty, and mad, up-set.etc. Wouldn't you be if this was your Child because he has a disorder. Sincerely, Hoping to find any help and more information that will help my Family of such a Horrific Crime, Knowing my son was with me when this acusations were brought to my attention and knowing the other parties involved know this as well


12/5/2002

the ycja is all about the fundamentals of yoa and the criminals who are kids it is bad for kids to break the law, but the ycja is a bad version and revision of the james in the kiss of the yoa.


12/5/2002

the ycja is all about the fundamentals of yoa and the criminals who are kids it is bad for kids to break the law, but the ycja is a bad version and revision of the james in the kiss of the yoa.


1/24/2003

Since there is already a new act, The Youth Criminal Justice Act, nobody should be so worried. The YCJA is a bit more strict , but it promotes prevention and rehabilation. It also involves the victim and family more, which pleases them. There is a big difference between violent and non-violent crimes in sentencing.


2/10/2003

the YOA should be changed...! When a child reaches 10 years old they are perfectly able to know right from wrong.They should have harsher punishment and be treated like like criminals not sick patients.


5/2/2003

The magical age of 18 does not in one day transformf a child to an adult. A 17 year old, a 16 year old and even a 15 year old child know what a crime is and that it is punishable. A so called "child" knows what NO means. It is true that not all adults know the full extent of punishment, it is more true with childre, but does that mean they should be excused from the punishment?


5/15/2003

you should put what the top crimes done by teens are becasue that would be so helpfull!!!!!!!!!


5/21/2003

I feel the young offender depending on the crime should go through youth jutice. If they are sent to a real juge it wont give them a chance to tell their story.


5/22/2003

The drinking age should not be lowerd because youger people well be drinking and driving


7/15/2003

I have a 26 year old son who has been near death 3 times because of addiction. He is now charged with break & Enter with intent to commit an indictable offense. He was referred to the mental diversion program & was found to be mentally fit but they found he had an addictions problem. What can we do as parents to see that he gets the help he needs. He needs more supervision than we are able to give him because he is an adult. Are there any avenues open for us here. We are desparate for a solution. Our son's life is @ stake.


9/28/2003

Life is very precious and I feel that children are getting away with a hell of alot, these days. /The future, starts now not when a life is taken.I think the bible can be the judge of this decision making.


9/28/2003

Life is very precious and I feel that children are getting away with a hell of alot, these days. /The future, starts now not when a life is taken.I think the bible can be the judge of this decision making.


10/6/2003

Hi.Im a sophmore @ Buckeye High in ohio. Im doing a debate on weather young offenders should be charged as adults depending on their offense so my dad looked up the YOA im confused, is it a canada thing? b/c i dont know what it says or how to find it. Can you help me? I will be checking in on comments on and off. My comment is if they think they are right or I dunno the word... mature enough (not that its ever right) to murder or rape another person and take their life then yes they should be charged as adults. They need to own up to their responsibilites & What they did. As for the parents being charged for what their kids did I think thats bull.


10/7/2003

Is the younh offenders act a canada debate? Great site Mr.Biss!


10/7/2003

Who was Clayton McGloan & Jonathan Wamback?


3/22/2004

i think that teens should get the death penalty! because if they do not get the death penalty they will think that it is okay to kill people and will kill again ang again till they kill their whole family! but when they grow up and the kill people they will get the death penalty and they will think that people were right and that he/she should never of killed someone when they were young and they will think and probly say to their self's i wish i had never killed someone and they wish they were good kids and wish to god they will get let go and they will never do it again well that is what they will tell us you know that will be a lie and they will just kill another person who pisses them off they will just have a reaction to there interself and will never think about the consequences and all they will think about is KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL KILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BY: Samule Britt student of live oak school teacher Mrs Hayes she has been teaching at this school for 3 years. March 22,2004.


5/8/2004

Question? How do minors develop into juvinile deliquency? (eventually to crime) any suggestion?


11/4/2004

yes it should be lowered to whatever age they want to


11/4/2004

I think the drinking age should not be lower to 18 because there are a lot of car accidents out on the road and mostly everyone gets kill by drinking. At the age of 18, we are just started to go through the adult world. That's why the drinking age should stay at 21.


11/17/2004

i think we should not have a drinking or drivig age becasue kids these days are more responsival



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