The Great Youth Criminal Justice Act Debate

The Act went into force April 1, 2003

YCJA

YOA

Criminal Code

New: December 2010: Enter Your Comments and Opinion Respecting the YCJA

December 2003

Resolved that: 

Warnings, cautions, referrals and extra judicial sanctions are not enough to deal with youth crime.

 If a young person does something serious like pushing an older woman down stairs, stealing from an employer, stealing a large quantity of merchandise or robbery then they should face real criminal law consequences not just alternative measures. Do extra- judicial sanctions to youth court law contained in the YCJA replace the prosecution of real youth crime in real criminal court?    

   


City:
Mississauga ON
Date:
27 October 2003
Time:
12:18:05

Comments

If a child has done something rather stupid where he/she used a fake I.D. for instance, and got caught, there is not much of a reason to bring in all possible authorities. In this case a warning is good enough for the first time. In situations where violence takes place or some kind of robbery the child deserves no warning or caution, but be reported to the authorities right away.


City:
Waterloo
Date:
11 November 2003
Time:
14:55:33

Comments

Don't clog up the justice system!


City:
Date:
11 November 2003
Time:
17:35:52

Comments

It's about time for communities to take on the role and responsibility of children. We have been shuffling our kids off to day care centers and schools as well as jails for too long we all have a responsibility to look after OUR children, all children are our children as we have lost our sense of community which is what has happened in the first place.


City:
Belfast, PEI
Date:
13 November 2003
Time:
12:51:34

Comments

Why has our society gone to be a wreck? One in two marriages in this country end in divorce. Kids don't have the guidance and structure that kids in previous decades had. Heck, it's almost a crime now to give your child a spanking. How will kids learn if were not allowed to teach them anything? The answer is not more day care centers or jails. It's good old fashioned common sense. Give parents back their rights to raise their children. 


City:
Pickerington
Date:
03 December 2003
Time:
18:31:02

Comments

I feel that juvenile punishment should and could be harsher I am currently doing a paper on it , and I feel and have always felt that a harsher punishment would equal a better child. How can some people say that every juvenile deserves multiple chances after they have broken a law? They don't deserve it. I think that depending on the age and the crime and mental status of a juvenile, and by mental status. I mean evaluated by more then one doctor, the punishment should fit the crime. there are many "gangs" out there that get out only a few months after being in jail or a reform school. In some towns parents are afraid to let their children out in the yard for fear something terrible might happen to them. Now I live in a small town in Ohio and I go to a very good school some kids who feel that My high school has no troubles with juvenile crimes. they are wrong. we do have a lot of trouble however our school is very popular around the country. Yes, I do think that the punishments for juvenile crimes should be harsher.


City:
Saskatoon, Sask.
Date:
09 December 2003
Time:
14:26:27

Comments

This is the 21st century, and the kids today have no respect for the law, people or authority. I mean the ones that are in trouble with the law often.

So my answer to the question above is NO!


City:
lower Dartmouth
Date:
07 January 2004
Time:
12:12:51

Comments

I certainly do believe that if a child has re-occurring run-ins with the law then he/she should be confined as an adult. our society is going nowhere with these half-consistent laws we need to be stricter on children. I'm also not saying to send a 10 year old to prison for 10 years. That would be ridiculous, but harsher punishments is in order.


City:
Vancouver
Date:
14 January 2004
Time:
14:01:58

Comments

How often does the regular court system involve active victim participation? How easy is it for a young person to look into the eyes of this person and claim responsibility? Quite often conferencing is viewed as an easier way out. From personal experience I know this to be a misconception. Quite often the consequence is more meaningful and without question, holds the youth more accountable for their actions.


City:
Fredericton, NB
Date:
16 March 2004
Time:
17:34:26

Comments

Yes, when a youth does something that is against the law they should be reprimanded, but if you think about it, over half the population in prisons now a days are repeat offenders who started out with a minor offense as a young offender, and was entered into the system and has never left. Prison is a school for criminals, it is the type of environment that makes the offender the way they are, why would you put them right back into that environment? New Brunswick has the highest incarceration rate for young offenders in Canada. Obviously it isn't working, so we have to do something about it. By using extra judicial measures we are catching the problem early and trying to correct it before it gets worse. We are getting to the core of the problem because the longer this criminal behavior goes on the harder it is to get to the core of the problem because they tend to forget what started it all in the first place. I'm not saying go easy on them but make them think, instead of just locking them up


City:
Toronto
Date:
18 April 2004
Time:
20:35:29

Comments

Studies show that Canada has the highest youth incarceration rates. As well, numerous studies illustrate the damaging physical, psychological and emotional effects of various custodial measures. More evidence goes to showing that incarceration does not reduce nor deter youth crime. Instead, extra-judicial measures (YCJA) along with alternative measures (YOA), have proven to have much lower recidivisms rates as opposed to custodial measures. In conclusion, alternative measures are the best way to go! Besides, youth do NOT THINK LIKE ADULTS (adolescent growing problems, peer pressure, etc)


City:
Winnipeg
Date:
03 May 2004
Time:
11:35:39

Comments

I feel as if I am in the presence of hypocracy. In saying that all youth have no respect for adults it is a little redundant to say children are not respectful and that at the same time stereotype them by disrespecting them? 


City:
A faraway land called Canada
Date:
06 June 2004
Time:
14:29:50

Comments

If I were a criminal, and I knew that the worst punishment I could get was a warning or community service, then there's not much stopping me, especially since nobody's going to know about it. (Of course, sending somebody to jail for stealing something small like a candy isn't reasonable.)

But prison isn't the answer for youth. That's the place where they're isolated from the society that they're expected to go back to later. How would you expect that person to become a part of society again? In prison, it's not like they're trying to make them a better person, it's locking them up as the bad person they were for a while, then releasing them as a bad person again. Locking them up is like saying, "You're a criminal, and nothing's going to change that. So we'll just remind you about what a horrible person you are."


City:
Saskatoon, SK
Date:
30 June 2004
Time:
13:42:12

Comments

We definitely need to do more to curtail the high incarceration of youths. Young people need guidance and support. It is our job to educate them and prepare them for the future. Failing to do so produces negative results. Incarcerating youth does nothing to rehabilitate them for successful reintegration. Extra-judicial measures are a great way of dealing with less-serious offences, such as property offences. Adversarial and punitive measures do not work and only serve to further alienate youth...our youth deserve guidance and support to make good decisions. We need to attack the underlying issues, not the youth. Issues such as poverty, child abuse and substance abuse are just a few. Locking up a child is dangerous and ignores the importance of having a youth OWN UP to the offence committed. Initiatives such as circles, mediation and conferencing is better because the harm done to the victim and the community can be effectively dealt with as each participant is given the opportunity to discuss how the offence affected them and what they would like to see done to restore the situation. The current punitive, adversarial system is a disgrace! It seems ineffective as so much time is spent on a trial, yet, so little time is spent on sentencing!! Wait, how about if we throw all juvenile delinquents in jail and then ask the victim and community affected if they feel justice has been served!!! How has the harm been dealt with? How was the victim compensated? How has our community been restored? RESTORATIVE MEASURES...NOT ADVERSARIAL MEASURES...ARE NEEDED!!!!


City:
Kelowna, BC
Date:
14 July 2004
Time:
23:33:31

Comments

Here what I've begun to realize about the push for more prison sentences, longer prison sentences, and even three-strikes type policies: Some people support this as part of specific philosophies, e.g. giving criminals less opportunity to reoffend (by taking them "off the street" more often and for longer), or creating a bigger deterrent (so potential criminals will change their minds). But a lot of people, who don't really hold a specific belief about how these measures will reduce crime, support them just because they feel they need to respond to crime by doing something they themselves consider _serious_ (taking rights that _they_ value highly away from offenders), and that somehow their stand will be enough to reduce crime all on its own.


City:
St. Anthony, NL
Date:
13 October 2004
Time:
13:26:23

Comments

I feel that our young people are getting off with a lot of crimes that can possibly escalate into more serious acts. If we do not punish them criminally for what they have done, is it possible that they even learn a lesson?


City:
Sioux Lookout , ON
Date:
18 October 2004
Time:
10:35:23

Comments

It's not right to stricken an act for children, just send them to boot camp for a month or two.


City:
Miramichi, NB
Date:
08 November 2004
Time:
11:09:42

Comments

What kinf of education do you people have on youth crime? What about long-term rehabilitation and long-term protection of society? Do you really think that the court process and a prison sentence is deterrent to our youth? I have on, many occasions heard youth refer to their incarceration sentence at the New Brunswick Youth Center as summer camp. Then, when they were on probation, they got someone they knew to write up their community service hours for them. Kids aren't scared of a judge now in days. Kids that have been brought up in troubled homes, are looking for the proper attention that they need. They need help, not prison sentences. Look around you, help these kids in need, don't throw them away in the prison system and ignore them. Remember, long-term protection of society and long-term rehabilitation!


City:
an unholy place
Date:
03 December 2004
Time:
12:16:45

Comments

a couple of months ago i was charged with three counts of theft each one under $5000 dollars (my first criminal offence). When i was cought i was brutilized by the security guard that arrested me, thrown to the ground and choked untill i lost conciousness. then i along with the guy i was with were forced to wait seven hours in a small room not being allowed water or bathroom prevelages untill the police showed up. then taken beck to the police station were we were thrown into a holding cell for another three and a half hours untill they called our parents and the showed up to pick us up. after this i had to have my finger prints taken and go to court. i felt a true criminal and i hadnt even been to jail. i have been asigned to 72 hours of community service for my actions. after all ive been throw i know that i will never steal agian, after i have finished my 72 hours of community service my charges will be dropped. i have learnt my lesson. i think extrajudicial sanctions are good for first time offenders of lesser crimes.


City:
toronto
Date:
22 January 2005
Time:
15:24:57

Comments

am from toronto and we have so many problems dealing with youth crimes here beacuse there are so many gangs out here i dont think people really know how bad it is i mean we cant even walk down the street at night and we cant even wear red or blue or any clour too mant times cuz they will think your in a gang and if u dont belive what am saying please come to dixon-rexdale-jane-finch-malverin and see it yourslef


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Revised: 09 Dec 2010 11:45:25 -0500 .